"Variable; excellent to totally..."
About: Russells Hall Hospital Russells Hall Hospital Dudley DY1 2HQ
What I liked
These comments concern the treatment of my elderly Mother. EAU doctors and nurses were fabulous. They worked together well and provided outstanding care. The nurse in charge of my Mother was also excellent; working proactively and with a high level of professionalism. The specialist nurse and palliative care doctor were both outstanding, providing excellent support. They were both professional yet very approachable, keeping us informed and inspiring confidence. They worked hard to prescribe good pain relief and were able to treat both family and patient holistically.
What could be improved
The problem came when my mother was transferred to A1 at the weekend. It seemed that weekend staffing of this ward is inadequate with little supervision or doctor input. Communication was not effective, may be relating to ineffective handover routines. On Friday evening my Mother was left for two hours agitated and in pain in spite of repeated relative requests for help. This was due to poor communication between departments so that A1 did not have her medication ready on time. The Fy2 doctor was unhelpful; she seemed to have no training in defusion strategies. The nursing staff constantly told us the medication was in hand when it was not. We thought we had complained sufficiently to ensure this did not happen again but on Saturday night the situation repeated itself. The bank nurse who had worked hard all day was unaware of the medication. She did her best to help whilst other nurses sat chatting on the nurses station. Eventually the medication arrived an hour late when my relative was again suffering pain.
Supervision and adequate staffing is needed at weekends because people can be ill at any time of the week. As a lot of care is given by FY2s they need to be trained in defusing situations where relatives and patients are distressed. Nurses need to communicate effectively, particularly at handover. Staff should be trained to be proactive and to respond to concerns in a sympathetic and caring manner. Pain relief should be a priority; a patient should not be left for two hours in pain and a highly agitated state because nurses have not responded to the prescription from the palliative care doctor.