"Care of the dying in hospital needs to be better"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My elderly Father was admitted to East Surrey Hospital on many occasions and was absolutely terrified of the place because of the care that he received.

He died just before Christmas in the hospital and it was the last place he would have wanted to be.

The palliative care needs to be improved. When a patient's family are told their relative is going to die, there should be far better facilities to allow the family to be with their loved one until the end. You only die once and those memories stay with relatives forever, don't treat family as if you are doing them a favour allowing them to be with their loved one, give them the space and facilities to allow them to stay with their loved one and support them in what is a distressing and frightening time for everyone involved.

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Response from Susan Aitkenhead, Chief Nurse, Executive Team, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust


I am very concerned to hear of your reported experience and my condolences on the bereavement of your father. Could you please forward some further detail to me and I will look in to this urgently?

As you say a death in the family is hard enough to cope with, without the family also being unhappy about the care - so I would certainly appreciate it if you could take the time to provide more detail around this so I can investigate. I can be contacted at susan.aitkenhead@sash.nhs.uk

Thank you.

Susan Aitkenhead

Chief Nurse

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