"A & E plus general switchboard"
About: Darlington Memorial Hospital Darlington Memorial Hospital Darlington DL3 6HX
I live in Essex and recently my mum was taken to Darlington at 10 in the morning for a foot xray after falling from bed. At 19:30 my elderly father rang me in tears as my mum had not gone home. He is disabled and did not know whether or not to call carers up to help him. He is also diabetic and should have had regular food and attention. I rang Darlington A&E and was finally told that my mum was 'kept in' in a ward and would be moved into another more permanent ward the next day. No one told dad.
Since then whenever I ring the hospital it takes ages for someone to answer main switchboard number, that's of course if they do as on lots of occasions I have given up after five minutes or more. Even if I manage to get someone to answer and put me through to ward 43, more than not, no-one answers phones there either. I know staff are busy but to be kept on line for 10 plus mins without answering is wrong, especially as my mum is in critical condition and all I want to know is if I should travel up north.
I am giving 2 stars for the nurses who I am told are caring for mum, but the contact areas need streamlining. It is a customer service function when all said and done (and yes I will be following up in writing).