"Extremely poor and disappointing"

What I liked

Very little

What could be improved

I called to find out urgent key medical information about my elderly father. After having been put on hold for 30 minutes. I hung up and tried again. Without pressing any buttons I was connected to the wrong department in the wrong hospital. That person was very helpful and gave me a ward manager's number in the right hospital. I subsequently tried that number and finally got through. The person I spoke to was curt and unhelpful. At first they refused to give me their name. I persisted and they told me their name. They clearly had no interest in discussing anything with me and the conversation ended. I am concerned that their telephone manner might mirror their manner when " caring " for elderly patients such as my father.

Nurses are not the only public sector workers to be subjected to the unpleasantness of the general public. Professionalism is the key to successful practice. If you hate your job, don't do it. If you hate dealing with patients' families either leave your job or work out your frustration in other ways or ask your managers for support.

Anything else?

NHS staff need to understand the huge levels of stress experienced by the families of the elderly and infirm.

I want to do the right thing by my father without being seen to interfere in his medical care. He has a right to expect accountability and as his advocate I have a right to ask questions about his care on his behalf. I do not expect to be be spoken to in a rude and dismissive manner or be treated as if I am an irritation.

My father pleaded to be sent to Finchley Memorial because it is close to home and it comes with a recommended professional reputation. So far that has not been our experience! What a shame!

Story from NHS Choices

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