"Unimpressed with doctor communication at Southend Hospital"

About: Southend Hospital

(as a relative),

my mother was admitted to southend hospital as an emergency following a flare up of a long term condition, whilst the nurses were generally good (some notable exceptions were excellent!), we thought the communication skills and bedisde manner of some of the doctors stank. When doing the rounds the consultants seemed to spend more time talking to the students than to her with the result that over a period of 3 weeks she became increasingly depressed and in her own words "felt totally abandoned" Treatment seemed to be an intellectual exercise based on "yet more tests" with no appreciation of her quality of life or mental well being.

Living 3 hours away by car I abandoned ttotally the idea of calling the ward for information as the phone was either never answered (even after letting it ring for 10 minutes) or the info given was so vague (and often seemed inaccurate or contradictory) as to be of no use. I resorted to being there personally most days and had to stand ground while being made to feel like an annoying mosquito with my questions. Finally after stopping them keeping her in for another week of endless tests i had to fight to get them to do the discharge papers , only getting her out by having a private ambulance crew arrive on the ward.

She is an 81 year old woman who has incredible fortitude and has born much hardship in her life with a pragmatic approach, this whole experience totally knocked the stuffing out of her. Thankfully she is now in a wonderful care home with people who talk to her rather than treat her like an agenda item on their busy schedule. There is a difference between medicine and healthcare--some of the doctors at this hospital could do well to look both of these words up in the dictionary and change their arrogant style to recognise that the human beings they are looking after have feelings, histories and personalitites-they are not just pieces of meat !

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