"Cost cutting that affects patient well being."
About: Furness General Hospital Furness General Hospital Barrow-In-Furness LA14 4LF
What I liked
I visited or had family members visit both cardiology and rheumatology. Some doctors are professional, thorough and polite; particularly in rheumatology. Nurses generally work hard and are professional and polite. Decor has been improved in recent years.
What could be improved
There seems to be a lot of use of locums to bridge the gap in both cardiology and rheumatology, which may be due to poor staffing levels as full time members of staff leave and are not replaced. Patients are not consulted about whether they wish their care to be switched from the consultant, or a member of his/her team, to a locum. This is the case even when use of a locum is planned months in advance. This results in very poor continuity of care and distrust of the service on behalf of the patient. Locums do not appear to have been briefed about patients and do not always have the test results or notes for the patient. Nevertheless even without the relevant information some locums seem very happy to discharge patients from the consultant's list. On the positive side this improves the hospital's figures and leaves the GP free to refer the patient back to the same department when it is found that discharge was inappropriate.
Please FGH invest in properly trained and resourced departments and save the use of locums for occasional sickness and holiday absence. Please replace staff who retire or leave for other reasons with properly trained full time members of staff. Also if you organise a clinc at weekends please allocate support staff to locate patient records and distribute them to the consulting physician.
Also, when a consultant requests an appointment for a patient in six months, please will you ensure they get that appointment in six or seven months and not twelve?