"Overall a very positive experience, heartfelt..."

About: Doncaster Royal Infirmary

What I liked

My dad was admitted onto ward 17 in May 2012 for 3 weeks and then again in July for 4 weeks, until the ward temporarily closed. He had advanced prostate cancer, but was admitted with anaemia and vomiting blood.

The care on both occasions was wonderful; my dad was treated with respect and dignity by all but one staff nurse. After his first stay, he returned home but unfortunately the OT had not ordered an air mattress and also the community physiotherapists did not make contact.

His admittance in July followed a 999 call ,17 hour wait in A&E/CDU and 2 days on the MAU. He was so pleased to be going back to 17 as he knew he would be well looked after, and he had every faith they would be able to improve his condition once again, though this time it was a severe chest infection and immobility. He was greeted like long lost family by many of the staff. Nothing was too much trouble. Staff often popped in for a chat as they were passing his room and many even called to say hello or goodbye at the start or end of their shift.

The only complaint he had was about one particular staff nurse. She was rude to him and us on several occasions, and although she knew he had a weak spine due to the cancer, and was in tremendous pain, she handled him roughly and became cross and impatient with him when he moaned out in pain and eventually refused to be moved by her.

However, dad was visibly upset when he had to be moved, and so were some of the HCAs! They were a wonderful, caring team. Unfortunately, dad deteriorated quite quickly after being moved, and then being discharged and sadly passed away early September.

We would like to say a huge thank you to the ward 17 staff for the care and compassion they showed Dad during his final months.

What could be improved

People/communication skills of one staff nurse. She didn't seem to fully understand Dad's situation; she was functional but not at all compassionate.

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Responses

Response from Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Thank you for providing us with feedback on your Father’s recent stay in our hospital. First of all and on behalf of the team who knew and cared for him, may we offer you and your family our sincere condolences.

We greatly appreciate that you have taken the time to provide us with some detail upon your father’s experience and this has been fed back to the staff concerned. Positive comments where things have gone well and the staff have provided appropriate and good care, are always very encouraging to the team.

In response to your observations on continuity and the place of your Father’s care relating to the Medical Assessment Unit [MAU]; we are able to advise you that this has received attention and we are working on a new bed plan to ensure wherever possible that our patients are cared for in the right place at the right time for their needs. This means that we will aim for patients to spend no more than 24hrs on the MAU being assessed, prior to going to the appropriate ward for their health needs.

We were very concerned to hear that one nurse did not show your Father the appropriate understanding and compassion when caring for him. Please accept our unreserved apology for the distress caused to your Father by this event, which marred his care towards the end of his life. We were very disappointed to hear of this situation and it is our policy to always try to identify the individual concerned if we receive negative feedback on a member of staff.

Matron Kirsty Clark is keen to follow up on this matter with you, if you are able to give any indication on the particular date/s or some pointers to help identify the person concerned. This will then be addressed fully with the nurse concerned. Therefore we would greatly value your time, if you could make contact with Kirsty on DRI 01302 366666 ext 4336 or please ask the switchboard for bleep 1468.

Thank you once again for providing us with information and the opportunity to address weakness in our service and also to give encouraging feedback to the ward where things went well.

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If a patient has experienced something negative, particularly about the standard of care or professional attitudes, we do urge patients and visitors to share their experiences with the ward or department manager during their stay so the situation can be corrected as soon as possible.

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