"My fathers death - two very different hospitals"

About: The Great Western Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

My father (and mother) were treated at Watford General Hospital. I thought that parts of the hospital were dirty and that the hygine controls were cosmetic and often unenforced. (I went outside the hospital to use a toilet). My father was admitted with Motor Neurone Disease and soon contracted C. Difficile. I think his hospital experience worsened his prognosis. I found the clinical staff were professional and considerate, but some managers seemed confused, aggressive and defensive, lacking coordination. Cynical really. My mother was very upset by this.

My parents were moved to Swindon at their request, in the knowledge that dad had little time and that they could be together in a nursing home. Whilst in Swindon my father required admission to the Great Western Hospital (GWH). Following his discharge, he died at the nursing home a week later. I have heard of bad experiences with GWH, but have none myself. My mother was impressed at how clean it was and how hygine rules were followed (yes I know they have had 'hospital infections' there). The clinical staff were again very thoughtful and professional and the liason with outside agencies seemed better coordinated than Watford. I agree that transfers are difficult to administer, but I am not convinced that Watford General Hospital provided the correct 'package' for my father's transfer. At GWH I could see and hear that they were checking and reviewing my father's case carefully. They were kind to him (all they could really do is make him comforatable). My father was a lifelong supporter of the NHS, but shortly before he died he told me how disgusted he was with the way that my mother and he were treated by 'managers' at Watford.

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