"A shocking example of failing care for..."
About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City) Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City) Welwyn Garden City AL7 4HQ
What I liked
I would like to be positive but cannot
What could be improved
Communication between staff
Communication between staff and patient
Communication between staff and relatives
Clinical services/ skills available
My elderly mother had the misfortune to end up in this hospital. She suffered a cardiac arrest pre-surgery (possibly as a result of the anaesthetic). After a successful CPR she was put in a recovery room and was left fighting for breath and fighting for her life due to an incorrectly fitted laryngeal mask (this was only corrected when pointed out by a family member who is an Emergency Medicine Consultant!).
The family has had to constantly battle to get what little information it could and most of this has come from very junior trainee doctors. My mother sat in a wet bed for 3hrs one night and said that she felt ‘bullied’ by the night staff on one occasion.
The pain management that she receives appears to be sub-standard in comparison to that of other hospitals with similar cases and leads us to the conclusion that Welwyn staff do not have the clinical skills to administer appropriate pain relief.
Clearly the information flow between doctors dealing with her case is woefully inadequate and they do not appear to possess the skill to communicate effectively with relatives either. Concerned questioning tends to be met with confrontational responses. There have been exceptions but the poor communication by medical staff is generally unacceptable. The nursing staff do their best but can only provide information that is shared with them by the doctors.
This seems to be a perfect example of the ‘NHS failing to treat elderly patients in England with care, dignity and respect’, as suggested by the Health Service Ombudsman in the recent official report
It was Care services minister Paul Burstow who said "We need a culture where poor practice is challenged’. That is exactly what we intend to do...the detailed complaint is on its way!