"I am led to believe that, long ..."

About: Good Hope Hospital

What I liked

I am led to believe that, long term, patients only remember the first hours and the last hours of their stay in hospital.

If that is true, I fear that in two months time I will not remember the considerable care, attention, courtesy and consideration that I received from the staff of ward 3(Good Hope) - Trained staff, auxiliaries and ancillary staff all contributed to my well-being. It means that my only memory will be of an efficient admission, the transition from the wonderful new buildings to the rather tired admission lounge and the total shambles that was the discharge.

What could be improved

The discharge started very early in the morning with a useful discussion with the registrar and his team, followed an hour later by an equally useful visit from the pharmacist. My medication finally arrived on the ward at 8.30 pm. I refuse to believe that the pharmacy staff were sitting around with little to do all day - I suspect that the reality was that many of the staff worked through their lunch break and also contributed many hours of unpaid overtime at the end of the day, but the patients only know that they had to wait 12 hours between seeing the doctor and going home. I do not understand why with modern computer technology and pneumatic delivery systems patients have to wait for this length of time with nothing to do except hassle overworked ward staff.

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Response from Good Hope Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. The discharge process is complex and the system for the majority of wards is as follows: -

1. Doctor decides patient is fit to go home

2. Doctor writes discharge letter including prescription for medication (TTO)

3. Nurse arranges for TTO to be sent to pharmacy (if the ward pharmacist has left the

ward or not due to visit for several hours)

4. At Good Hope the TTO arrives in pharmacy via the air tube system

5. Time of arrival is noted on prescription request

6. TTO assessed for level of priority

7. TTO passed through to pharmacist clinical checking area (pharmacist screens the

prescription checking the detail of the drugs ie right dose/right drug, legality and


8. Clinically checked TTO is passed through to dispensary and placed in one of two trays

(urgent or ‘not immediately required’).

9. TTO is dispensed in turn with other prescription or medication requests from the

appropriate tray.

10.TTO is checked by appropriately trained technician or pharmacist (ward telephoned if

urgent, returned by air tube if practical/feasible or placed in bag collection area

for collection by porters for delivery to the wards at one of their scheduled visits)

11.TTO arrives on ward and medication explained to patient by the nurse.

We do apologise for any delays and are currently looking at ways to improve and speed up the complex process which, subject to a successful trial, will be rolled out later this year.

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