"I am sorry that I have had to post these issues,..."

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary

What I liked

Most of the hands on nursing staff were friendly and attentive, even when pressured with red tape.

What could be improved

the list is endless

I brought my mother in via ambulance after being referred by her GP. The staff on Medical Assessment seemed to be very busy and not have enough time to afford patients an acceptable level of communication. She was then moved to Clinical Decision , where again the same problem was experienced regarding the staff. On the Friday morning it was decided she would need to stay on in hospital over the weekend and would be moved. At 7:30 that evening she phoned me in tears asking me to come and collect her, she was on her own in an empty ward and no-one had explained anything to her. I had to phone the ward to ask them to do this.

She was moved to Ward 4 where 99% of the staff were wonderful and attentive, one nurse who worked nights was an exception, my mother felt her attitude to be very "I can't be bothered with this" when she had to check my mother's blood sugar due to it dipping to dangerous levels and having to administer glucose gel which made my mother vomit., the nurse was very vocal about this as she was to a lady in the next bed to my mother a couple of nights later.

As her next of kin I attempted to ring the ward for hours before I got any answer... only to be informed by someone on the switchboard that as there was no ward clerk on that ward you could only ring between 11:00am and 12:00pm and that the ward should have told me this.

In my opinion that is a stupid system and causes the relatives a lot of stress.

All through her admission I asked what they were treating her for and was there any relevance to her heart as she had a bypass 2 years ago, I was told no there wasn't and it was for a chest infection. On her return home I read her notes they had put in with her medication to find that she had been in heart failure.

So the main thing is communication between all departments, the patients relatives and the patient themselves and far less bureaucracy

Anything else?

As a visitor I am appalled by the parking at the hospital I would drive around sometimes for an hour trying to get a space. and the parking prices are hugely inflated £1.20 per hour I thought this was a hospital and if you were going for an appointment how lucky would you be to be even seen in an hour? Never mind the relatives who have to visit their loved ones sometimes twice a day every day.

The appearance of the hospital on entering via the front door gives off a bad impression straight away, the lobby is littered with boxes piled up, the corridors have empty beds, trolleys and equipment just parked there. The corridor leading to Ward 4 was a prime example of that it appeared to be a dumping ground for the hospital's junk, there was just a narrow walkway through 2 solid walls of tall cages, beds etc.

I remember that there used to be day rooms at the end of the wards in the old hospital where patients could sit and watch tv or just watch the world go by through the bay windows. Instead I saw that room yet again piled high with surplus equipment such as mattresses. Patients who do not want to pay for the use of the profit making televisions at their beds or just want to escape the confined space round their bed have nowhere to go to.

Also the Passenger lift, which I have to use due to mobility and breathing issues was out of order for 3 days, which meant by the time I got to my mother I was most probably more in need of her bed than she was.

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Responses

Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

We’re sorry you were unhappy with aspects of your care with us. If you would like us to investigate further please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01539 795 497. Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to comment on our services, and apologies for the delay in responding, we would like to assure you that we regularly review the comments and pass them on to the department concerned and continue to strive to improve the service we offer our patients.

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