"Unable to discuss my mother's care with the doctor"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Mental Health Services for Older People – Inpatient

(as a carer),

My mother has been a patient at Daybrook ward in the St Francis Unit at City Hospital, Nottingham since a transfer there from Bassetlaw hospital in Worksop in December 2012.

Due to poor communication, I have been left not knowing why all of a sudden a decision was made by the doctor to prevent me taking my mother out for up to an hour at a time to give her freedom to exercise and have fresh air.

Only my younger sister Kay is authorised to do this despite my previously having taken my Mum out for longer authorised outings such as to my sister's house in December 2012, which required 6 hours.

I was very distressed when prevented, without explanation, from taking my mother out a few days ago, and then being given a wrong extension number for the doctor not once but twice (different each time from different Daybrook nurses).

I only obtained the correct number after contacting PALS. Still no response from a communication with PALS, who said they had passed my tel numbers to the doctor.

The doctor has only ever talked to my sisters but never me. Why am I not being consulted at all about my part in my mother's care plan, when I am her most local and regular visitor at the hospital?

Why was the decision to exclude me from giving my mother the outings she needs to recuperate ever made? Also why is communication so impossible?

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Responses

Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

I was so sorry to hear the difficulties you have experienced regarding the communication and explanation around your involvement in your mother’s care.

Sharon Howe, Matron, has now been involved in resolving your concerns. I understand you have had an opportunity to discuss your mother’s care and the decision around taking your mother out for fresh air with the consultant. From feedback from Sharon, it seems that this has been helpful and clarified the situation with you.

We are sorry for the way you received incorrect information regarding how to contact the doctor and appreciate that this will have made the situation more frustrating. The ward team are reviewing how this happened and will ensure this does not happen again.

If you have any further queries please speak to the nurse in charge or please contact Sharon Howe again.

Helen Smith

Project Lead

Mental Health Services for Older People

Update posted by Windblows (a carer)

Hi Helen ,

Your reply does not acknowledge what the root of the problem was.

Unless it is stated that the doctor had made no mention on the forms of any exclusions for any relative, then the rectification has not been clearly made. To my mind, such possibilities of error are best prevented by making instructions as clear as possible.

In this case, the doctor's explanation was that staff on the ward had not understood the forms. In my opinion, this could be because of the format not being clear, undue assumptions or lack of clarity.

Response from Helen Smith, AHP lead, Mental health services for older people, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Hello,

Thank you for your further posting. I am sorry if my initial response didn't acknowledge the root of the problem. It does seem from what you have stated the process around paperwork was not helpful and I understand the ward staff are looking into this.

If the situation has not resolved for you and your Mum on the ward please contact Sharon Howe on 0115 854 2288. If you would like to discuss it further with me I am on the same number and although I am not directly involved in the provison of inpatient care I would be happy to talk about your concerns.

Best wishes

Helen

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