"Communication, between doctors, nurses..."

About: Southend Hospital

What could be improved

Communication, between doctors, nurses and more importantly, ME could be improved.


I have secondary breast cancer & am currently receiving chemotherapy.

On 8/10/2010 I visited the chemo unit, had an appraisal and the Dr decided to book me into Loury ward on 18/10/10 for a chest drain using ultrasound, in good time before my next chemo on 22/10/10.

I was asked to have a blood test on the day of admission, given a form for that purpose and to phone the ward to confirm a bed was available.

I did not receive any confirmation of this app. and on 13/10/10 I called chemo unit asking if I should have received written confirmation. They called Loury and both bookings were confirmed, again only verbally.

I had an app on 15/10/10 with oncologist and they also mentioned the app for drain & ultasound on Monday 18th.

At 8.30am on 18/10/10 I had blood test in outpatients dept.. I went home to then call Loury re bed. I was told bed available, and to go to ward at 11am. I arrived on the ward, went to day room.

I saw a Dr at approx 11.30, had routine tests and questions. The Dr had not read my notes, did not know we were in October rather than Sept, did not know who had referred me , but confirmed the procedure for the same afternoon.

I then went back to day room. A registrar came to see me at approx 1.30pm, asked a few questions, informing me the drain & ultrasound were being done on 20/10/10 at 2.30pm.

I was astounded as I had been led to believe these were being done on 18th or at the latest 19th and I could not understand why I had been brought in 2.5 days prior to treatment.

The reg. double checked and confirmed the bookings, apologising for the fact that I was brought in so early.

I spoke to the Dr I had seen in chemo unit on 8/10/10, who was aware the procedures were on 20th, but had failed to inform me.

I decided to return home on "leave" for the night, having to return at 11am the next day.

Anything else?

I feel that as "the patient" I have not been included in any of the timing decisions.

I also feel that is is rude not to be kept informed of what is happening to ME.

I should have received written confirmations of bookings.

Having a chest drain is not a pleasant experience and as such I had geared myself up for it, needlessly and will now have to go through this gearing up again.

It is not just me that is affected, the whole family are too. My husband had reorganised his working day, my daughter gave me a lift to the hospital and stayed for 2 hours, I didn't need to visit early for a blood test.............all of us having to pay for the car park.

All in all the communication seems to be non existent. Perhaps this is the nature of so many hospital depts, but the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Southend Hospital

We are concerned to read of your experiences of the hospital and your comments have been sent to the Senior Clinical and Management Staff to review the issues raised (your comments have also been forwarded to the Trust Patient Carer Experience Group for review). If you would like to discuss your concerns further please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service pals@southend.nhs.uk

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