"Could do better"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

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Visiting my elderly mother who was traumatised with a hip operation I was disappointed with the standards in the hospital. The corridors had balls of dust floating around on the floor, which didn't bode well. During a visit there were mattress's propped up against the wall one of which fell down with an almighty clatter. It was not taken away but propped up again. "Feeding time" was not good as some of these patients need some help and encouragement to eat. She has been discharged but none of the family knew when this would happen. My sister went to visit only to find that the "bird had flown". This simply is not good enough. We knew she would be going into a rehabilitation centre but we were not told when. No contact with family, no idea if we needed to take her regular medication in for the new place - glad she is out of it! Having said that I think the operation itself appears to have been very good.

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Responses

Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Sheila, Firstly, please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your post - I was made aware of your concerns on friday night and wanted to reply immediately but was unable to due to technical problems with the NHS Choices Website. Many thanks for taking the time to share your concerns. It is so important for us to receive this feedback. We want to respond swiftly to all you have to tell us. I will admit that I was disappointed to read about your experience of our orthopaedic service . They are an award winning team who have been nationally recognised for all they have achieved in recent years . We strive to provide high quality consistent care so I was so sorry that there were a number of things we failed to get right for you or your Mother . The standards you describe fall well below those we would expect. We have specifically employed nutritional assistants whose sole purpose is to provide patients with extra support at mealtimes and encouragement to have additional food every day. We know how important nutrition is particularly when frail and recovering from hip surgery. Our standards of cleanliness are very high. We normally receive extremely positive feedback from patients with regards to this - we interviewed almost 5000 patients and families last year who gave us a score of 98% for the cleanliness of ward, bathroom and toilet facilities. I am sorry that this was not your experience and if the dust you saw in our corridors caused you to question the overall quality of our care. The lack of communication and family involvement on transfer out of hospital concerns me greatly . Mike Reed – the orthopaedic surgeon who is responsible for quality within the service is keen to speak to you about this so we can work out what went wrong with your Mother’s care and transfer, and the care of others that you saw, so we can fix it for future patients. Would you be able to contact us personally? My email is annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk if you would let me know I can certainly arrange a meeting or telephone call with Mike if this is something you’d be keen to do. I am glad the surgery itself has been successful. I do hope your Mother is recovering well, free from pain and enjoying being back in familiar surroundings. With thanks again, Annie Annie Laverty – Director of Patient Experience.

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