"Procedures were followed reasonably..."

About: King's Mill Hospital

What I liked

Procedures were followed reasonably efficiently. Once we got onto the assessment ward (temporarily before discharge late at night) the staff were caring, kind and professional.

What could be improved

The attitude of the staff in A&E was completely dismissive...some were sitting complaining among themselves about how long they had been at work that day, the number of patients they had had to deal with, and how they couldn't wait to get home. Others were sitting in front of computer screens, apparently oblivious, and any staff wandering about failed even to make eye contact, smile or give any sort of reassurance.The only support I was given was from relatives of other patients, and from one member of staff who showed some empathy and a few kind words in passing, which meant a lot to me at the time. I was in A&E with my 84 year old father who had fallen and had a suspected broken hip/femur. He has dementia and other serious health issues and was confused and in pain. Aside from the essential emergency care, which was slow but efficient, we were completely ignored even when I asked for someone to watch him whilst I phoned to inform relatives of the situation. Because no one could see him in the cubicle he was in (and because of his dementia he wasn't able to remember that he could ring for attention) I daren't leave him even for the time it took to make a phone call. No one came in to check on him in all the time we were there. The doctor seemed to have no understanding of the problems associated with dementia and expected my father to be able to explain what had happened and make decisions about his care. It was 9 o'clock at night, approximately 4 hours after admission, when it was confirmed that my father didn't have a broken hip. A call was made to arrange transport home for him and by the time it arrived (10:30ish) he was fast asleep on the assessment ward (having been given morphine, paracetamol and codeine) but was woken up and taken home . We were told he couldn't be allowed to stay until the morning because he might get and infection if he did!

Anything else?

It would only have taken a smile, some empathy and/or a kind word and a small amount of attention from the staff, when requested, to make the whole experence more positive. None of this would have cost anything. I don't feel that discharge late at night, especially in the case of the elderly, infirm or confused, is in the best interest of the patient.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from King's Mill Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your fathers visit recently. We are very sorry that you feel this way and would be happy to investigate further. If you would like us to do this please contact our Patient Advice Team on 01623 672222.

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