"Communication between sites"

About: Arran War Memorial Hospital NHS 24 / NHS 24 (111 service)

(as a service user),

I had cause to phone NHS 24 in January, where after describing what happened to me I was advised that an appointment would be made for me to see a GP at my local hospital. Someone from Ayrshire Emergency Care phoned me and told me to make my way to the hospital and they would be expecting me.

When I arrived at the hospital I was met with blank looks as no one was expecting me. When I was being seen I was told it was a regular occurrence that no contact was made with the hospital to alert them to a patient arriving. Apparently this is done by fax? I thought fax was a thing of the past!

I have heard that sometimes on night duty patients referred from NHS 24   are left standing on the front doorstep waiting to get entry as the front door is locked and staff are working elsewhere. This is a very poor communication issue between sites who should be working collaboratively   and should be corrected as a matter of urgency.

Whilst at the hospital I was seen by the GP and an extremely efficient nursing assistant, who deserves praise for outstanding service unlike the member of staff who couldn’t even get off their seat to acknowledge me.

Responses

Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Experience Manager, NHS 24 last month
Shona Lawrence
Patient Experience Manager,
NHS 24
Submitted on 19/02/2020 at 12:26
Published on Care Opinion at 12:26


picture of Shona Lawrence

Hi Eilean Arrain

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the time taken to respond to you. Unfortunately, an IT issue appears to have impacted on us receiving alerts when stories were shared on Care Opinion. I was only made aware of this late yesterday, so I am sorry you have had to wait for a response.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I was sorry to learn you were unwell and I hope you are feeling much better. I read your story with concern and appreciate your comments.

It might be helpful to explain that, following a call to NHS 24, should a patient require to be seen by a Healthcare Professional face to face, then NHS 24 alerts the relevant Health Board's Out of Hours service by electronic means. Thereafter patient care is passed from NHS 24 to the local Health Board. Following this, the Out of Hours service should alert any receiving unit to the patient's impending arrival.

Should NHS 24 refer a patient directly to A&E, then the communication method used is fax. This is because this is the technology available within A&E Departments and is outwith the control of NHS 24. I have asked the Care Opinion Team to tag NHS Ayrshire & Arran to your story as they may be able to assist in providing information on the process their end.

It was good of you to thank the Doctor and nursing assistant who attended to you.

I hope this information is helpful. If you wish to contact me directly with any additional detail to enable us to review your call to 111, then please don't hesitate. You can get me on 0141 337 4544 or by email at Patient.Experience@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

Shona

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Response from Ruth Betley, Senior Manager, North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership last month
We are preparing to make a change
Ruth Betley
Senior Manager,
North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership
Submitted on 20/02/2020 at 09:49
Published on Care Opinion at 10:26


Hi Eilean Arrain

I so sorry to hear of the difficulties you encountered with communication during your visit to Arran War Memorial Hospital.

As a result of your comments we have been reviewing the procedures we have in place to see what improvements we can make to the communication process.

As you say we do lock the door during the overnight period for the safety of patients and staff but we do have an intercom system for patients to gain access.

Many thanks for your feedback it is really important to us and we will implement changes so we ensure we are aware of the impending arrival of patients in the future.

I am glad that the doctor and nursing assistant were able to help you and will pass on your comments to them.

kind regards

Ruth

Ruth Betley

Senior Manager

Arran Services

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