"Excellent Staff, Poor Communication"

About: Rotherham Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was admitted to Rotherham General on the 15th April with adominal pain which was suspected to be appendicitus. On arrival on B1 I had to wait over an hour, along with lots of other people to be seen while a bed became available. At the time I was in a great deal of pain and obviously worried and frightened about what was wrong with me. At no time during this wait were any of the people waiting communicated with, no information on how long the wait may be was given. We were made to feel like a nuisance when we tried to ask for any information. The lady on the desk was clearly very busy but just acknowledging us and giving us some information would have been appreciated. Once I was admitted the Nursing staff and Doctors that saw me there were fantastic, communicating with me and looking after me very well. Another breakdown in communication came when I was transferred onto B5 whilst they waited for a water sample to test. On two occasions when I produced a sample the correct tests were not carried out which delayed the decision on my treatment. Most worryingly though was that when I was eventually taken to Theater despite me twice requesting it , no-one informed my Husband, who is my next of kin, where I was and what was happening. Individually all the Nurses and Doctors were great and they were extremely busy, perhaps this fact means that essential communication does not occur. My overall impression was that the staff were all dedicated and hard-working but there simply is not enough of them, particularly Nurses. It appears that the staff are spead too thinly and as a consequence of this communication is suffering.

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Responses

Response from Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. The first thing to say is that we are sorry that your experience clearly isn’t as we would wish it to be. Without more detailed information it is difficult to take practical steps to resolve the issues you raise. B1 is the main admitting ward at the Trust and we often find that admissions outweigh the bed capacity. We need to learn from your experience so we want to use your posting to raise awareness among the staff on the ward. We intend to:
  • Circulate your story to discuss with all the senior members of the team.
  • Ask those senior staff to discuss it with their staff
I’m sure you can understand that getting critical feedback is never easy for staff, but it is an important opportunity for organisations to learn difficult lessons. If you wish to discuss your experience on a 1:1 basis, please do not hesitate to contact us directly as this can be done confidentially using our PALS service.