"Staff need to communicate better"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Acute Receiving Unit

(as a relative),

My mum was sent to IAU at the Queen Elizabeth, Glasgow earlier this week. It appeared that this was a belt and braces approach and to be honest i was nervous about taking her to a hospital during covid. Mum has kept herself very safe these last 13 weeks and now i had to take her to the very place we knew there was covid. 

After mum was seen she was admitted and suddenly the situation seemed far more serious. we had not brought anything with us and so i went home and brought back a bag. I tried to enter the hospital but a security guard said you are not allowed in. I confirmed that IAU were expecting me back with her bag and said nothing about not being allowed in. Nope you aren't allowed in. there was a shrugging of shoulders and the comment don't you know about lockdown.  Pretty insulting as a key worker myself.  anyhow i had to phone but i didn't have the number. another security guard helped me and the receptionist handed me the number - no gloves and suddenly social distancing was not an issue. 

i tried phoning for 45+ minutes. i was incredibly upset by this - rather than help they called a security guard to make sure i didn't make run for it. he told me it took someone else an hour to get their relative's bag collected. Why was i so upset - from my perspective an innocuous issue was now serious, i had left my mum in the very place where the biggest risk is and because i had not known, because no one told me when i left to go get her bag i didn't say goodbye to her. the sort of goodbye needed when it was starting to look like there was a serious issue (for all i knew because no one had told either mum or i much at all). 

i will say that the receptionist on seeing me bawling my eyes out and in some distress did eventually help. other staff just asked if i had john's bag. 

two days later and thinking she would be discharged each day mum had to chase the staff on a new ward at 6pm to find out when she could leave. the answer was there is no note about discharge here. There was no sense that the one person that should be informed about if the are going home or not was told nothing. further to that Mum was told that as it was not after 5pm i was not allowed to bring more stuff for her. in the course of two days the rules had changed and nurses were not allowed to go and get bags from people. 

i would like to say that this poor communication was new and that i could put this down to covid and the new pressures but it was like this last time. i wish there was a realisation that care is more than medically fixing people. 

we were advised that all this is on the website - well it never occurred to me to check that and frankly it isn't. there needs to be better signage in the hospital, staff need to communicate better and the security guard could do with a lesson in empathy.  the hospital also need to fix the issue with no signal because i could not contact my mum to check she was ok. i left a sick 70 year old in a hospital with no way of getting hold of me and with poor communication from the whole team there. 

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