"my grandmother was admitted to a&e with..."

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary

What I liked

my grandmother was admitted to a&e with pneumonia and sepsis. she was an extremely ill lady at this time. The staff in a&e were fantastic, my grandmother was treated with dignity and respect and we were all kept up to date by the doctors and nurses.

Much the same can be said of the staff on mau. After a night stay on mau it became apparent that my grandmother would not survive this admission. The nurses trwated us all with compassion, and it truly showed through that they cared.

I cannot thank these 2 departments enough for the treatment of my grandmother.

unfortunately my gran was transferred to ward 2......

ward 2! initially my gran was treated in the main bay of ward 2, and although not the fault of the staff, it was crowded and extremely noisy. (not the best environment for palliative care).

after a couple of nights my gran was transferred to a side room and the family were allowed to visit outside of visiting.

My mother and aunt stayed with my gran for the whole of 1 day and were treated fantastically by the staff, there was an exceptional team on that day, and they were provided with refreshments, often without been asked, and nothing was too much trouble. My gran was treated with utmost care, was kept pain free and comfortable (this is all we would ask for).

The junior sister on duty that day was excellent in her nursing practice and her bedsise manner was second to none.

What could be improved

However when we visited the next day it was a different story. There was a different sister on duty and she did not even say hello as we walked past the nurses station to get to my grans side room. When we got to the side room my gran was screaming with pain and was clearly uncomfortable. My mother approached a staff nurse about this and was told that she had just had morphine but that she would 'come in a minute'. 15 minutes later no one had been in so I went out and had another word with the staff. In the meantime I had looked at my grans prescription (my mothers a nurse) and it had been over 2 hours since she had last been given pain relief. Finally after 20 mins, my gran was given further pain relief. I find it unacceptable that my gran was in pain for 20 minutes (and who only knows how long before we arrived). We visited for 3 hours and were spoken to by no one, other than the exchange regarding pain relief. Unfortunately my gran passed away that evening.

The day after my grand death I phoned the ward and spoke to the ward sister regarding the death certificate. I was told it would be done that afternoon and that the ward clerk would telephone us to confim. We received no phone call.

We drove to lancaster the next morning (we live 20 miles away), and were rudely informed by the ward clerk that it was not ready and who exactly told us we could come? I explaiined the previous days phone call exchange with the ward sister and i was told (in a patronising manner) that we should of awaited her phone call. May be thats the case but a phone call the previous afternoon to say it would take longer to issue the certificate wouldnt have gone a miss. We were expected at the registry office that morning and when this was mentioned the ward clerk then proceeded to lecture us on how we shouldnt have made an appointment as thats not the normal way of doing things (how would we know this exactly?) and that we would have to cancel (obviously!).

Anything else?

never once were we told 'sorry for your loss'. we were treated like we were annoying rather than simply some relatives that had lost someone that we loved very much. eventually the death certificate was issued (we had to kill 3 hours by walking around asda), but just to add insult to injury my mother was left standing at the door to ward 2, the buzzer being largely ignored by staff that we could see were standing talking. when, after being stood at the door for 10 minutes my mother was permitted entry, a patient had to tell the nurse (who had walked past my mother without speaking) who my mother was and her purpose for visiting.

I find it a real shame that there is a handful of staff on ward 2 that are exceptional, but are being let down by their collegues.

Ive put id recommend this hospital because i would, but i really wouldnt recommend ward 2!.

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Responses

Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Thank you for your comments. We were sorry to read about your loss and appreciate you taking the time to leave your feedback during a difficult time.

“WHAT I LIKED”

We have passed on your kind comments regarding the high level of service and care that you felt your grandmother received whilst in our hospitals to the departments you mentioned: Accident and Emergency, Medical Assessment Unit and Ward 2.

“WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED”

It is difficult to respond to your comments either online or by writing, as we do not have your details.

We take all feedback seriously. The Ward Manager, Ward Clerk and Matron of Ward 2 have met to discuss your comments. All of the Ward staff strive to be sympathetic to the needs of our patients and visitors, especially during difficult times, such as you described.

Given the importance of your comments and that we are unable to contact you based on the information provided, the Matron for Ward 2 would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you. If you would like to arrange this, please contact Angela Peil, Customer Care Manager on 01539 716645.

Should you wish to make a complaint then you can do so by writing to our Chief Executive, Tony Halsall, at: Trust Headquarters, Westmorland General Hospital, Burton Road, Kendal, LA9 7RG.

The Complaints Team and the Chief Executive can be contacted at the address indicated above or by ringing 01539 795 332. More information can be found on our website: http://www.uhmb.nhs.uk

We place great value in the fact that local people continue to choose our hospitals and we openly encourage patients and visitors to give us their feedback. This will enable us to continually improve the services we offer and the experience our patients have whilst in our hospitals. Members of the public can be kept informed and get involved with our hospitals by becoming a Foundation Trust member, further information is available at: http://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/trust.

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