"Excellent care from Stroke Unit, but..."
About: Hillingdon Hospital Hillingdon Hospital Uxbridge UB8 3NN
What I liked
My husband was treated at the Stroke Unit. I was impressed by all of the staff. They were always professional, courteous, helpful and respectful to my husband and me. Whenever I had a question about anything, they would provide me with the information or, if they didn't know, they would find out and get back to me. He received the best of care - physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy, all of which helped his recovery. The ward was clean and every effort was made to make patients comfortable.
What could be improved
They are working in some difficult conditions. They have limited office space or designated areas to confer with patients and families privately. They have to use the patient day room for conferences. I don't know the solution. They need to be near patient care and increasing office or meeting space could impact room for patients.
I really think that the entire system would benefit from the use of technology. All notes are made by hand and stored in patient folders. This limits access to the information by other areas of the hospital. We returned to the Anticoagulation Unit for blood tests after my husband's discharge and they were unaware of any of his prescribed medication or treatment. If there were a central database of information on patients that staff could access, they could make more informed decisions.
The discharge process was chaotic. The morning blood samples were lost somewhere, so new tests had to be done and we had to wait for the results to determine the proper dose of medicine. A sleeping pill had been prescribed in hospital, but it wasn't included in the medicines at discharge, so we had to wait. At one point, his notes were misplaced. Everyone was extremely busy as a number of patients were going home for the weekend and they were preparing for an influx of new patients. There was a lot of waiting around for information from other departments or consultants. It seemed to me that the main problem was communication among staff. Again, a lot of this would be improved by a central database where staff could enter and access information about individual patients.
You have a very dedicated and caring team on this ward. (This includes everyone, consultants, nursing staff, support staff, catering and cleaners.) They work extremely hard to provide the best care possible with the facilities available to them. I think they would have very practical suggestions about improving communication and storage of information. Ask and listen to them.