"Concerned about care of my mother"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Cardiology

(as a relative),

I have just had my mother, who I have never seen cry, come home in tears whilst struggling to breath after having spent four days in Redhill Hospital.

She went in after having collapsed and now being unable to do anything even remotely active such as walking up a flight of stairs without feeling faint, being greatly short of breath and feeling weak.

She has had her heart checked in various ways, as she recently had a pacemaker fitted, yet what I find amazing is that not once has her heart been checked when under any of the stress that she went in describing. What I mean to say is not once was her heart checked without her lying on a bed resting where she feels ok.

I now find my mother sent home in hysterics and told to contact and organise to get her lungs checked.

So what I can ascertain from this is that she has been kept in for four days, had a few rudimentary checks, none of which have applied directly to her described problem, and now that she needs to go to "another ward" it seems quite simply a case of "not my problem".

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'Mingleman'

I am very sorry to read that your mother is upset. I will pass on your comment to the staff that managed her care to see if we can offer you and your mother any further explanation for her discharge and to relieve any fears she might have.

Patient safety is always our number one priority and this is never compromised. The hospital is experiencing some exceptionally difficult circumstances at the moment, as are all other hospitals all over the UK, with a very contagious strain of norovirus - the winter vomiting and diarrhoea bug - affecting many wards.

I was not involved in your mother's care but I can talk more generally, and because of norovirus, it might be that some patients might be better having investigations done at an alternative healthcare provider and not as an inpatient - especially where they are susceptible to norovirus.

As I say, I cannot comment on your mother's individual case but I just want to reassure you that safety comes first, but it seems that this has not been communicated properly to you and has left your mother upset and you worried. If you would like to share with me your mothers name and your contact details, I will contact the divisional chief nurse and ask her to contact you. Email me at eloise.clarke@sash.nhs.uk.

If you would like to make a more formal communication, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison service by telephone on 01737 231958 or emailing PALS pals@sash.nhs.uk or writing to: PALS at East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 5RH.

Thank you for contact us

Eloise Clarke

Communications Manager

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