"did not contact family"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

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Some years ago my brother was admitted to this hospital in a very poorly state with a urine infection. He had longstanding bipolar problems and was mediated with Lithium. His kidneys began to shut down and he needed dialysis to keep him alive. (bear in mind that he was in his early 40's, with one previous, prolonged, episode of nephritis at age 6/7)

My brother lived on his own with family and professional support. The family were not aware of his being hospitalised and no-one from the hospital contacted any of us. It was after 3/4 days that we became worried, went round to see him and could not find him that we realised something was very wrong. We eventually traced him to a ward in the Medway Maritime. A formal complaint at the time went absolutely nowhere.

I mention this now because a similar thing has occurred with our step mother who was admitted to the hospital yesterday, 26 March as an emergency. Again no-one from the hospital contacted us! Why not? One of our stepmother's friends contacted my sister to let us know, after going to visit hour stepmother in hospital. We know you are busy, but to let a 24 hour+ period go by without making some attempt to let someone know is very poor practice, even if the nursing and medical care is good.

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Responses

Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

I am sorry to hear about your experience and concerns around staff notifying family when a patient is brought into hospital as an emergency. Next of kin should be contacted with the patient’s permission or if the patient is unconscious/unable to give consent. Thank you for your feedback and it has been passed onto the relevant team. If however you wish to discuss this in more detail, please do get in touch with me. Inmaculada Diaz Alonso Clinical Nurse Lead – Emergency Department inmaculada.diaz-alonso@medway.nhs.uk

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