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"Gastro Enterology consultation"

About: Antrim Area Hospital / Ward C3 Female Surgical

(as a relative),

My father was recently admitted to C3 antrim area hospital following a traumatic head injury. He has been having ongoing stomach problems pre admission and a telephone review appointment scheduled with a doctor in July. My father is profoundly deaf in one ear and uses a hearing aid in the other. Since his fall and head injury, his hearing has gotten worse and the hearing aid isn't working as it should. My father is covid positive and I did take the hearing aid to audiology for repair, but it needs to be checked at a time when my father is present to make sure the settings are appropriate.  Due to all of this and 3 separate episodes of sickness whilst on the ward, I requested that instead of a telephone consultation, a face to face appointment be facilitated. I asked the nursing staff on the ward, the hospital social worker and I phoned the gastro department directly.  None of the gastro secretaries returned my calls and it was very frustrating to get a voicemail, only to be told not to leave a message as the mail box wouldn't be checked.  My father has been discharged to a rehab facility with no gastro review. He will have to take a telephone consultation on his own with no family support, and extreme difficulty with his hearing. Given that the message for the future of health care seems to be heavily focused on an integrated approach to care and the trust have a no more silos policy in place, I was extremely disappointed that there couldn't be a collaborative, multi disciplinary approach given to my fathers care. I want to offer my thanks to the nurses on C3 for their patience and compassion in taking time to update me on my fathers care when ever I called. They are extremely professional, caring staff and have a lot to deal with due to covid pressures. I asked for a call from my fathers consultant for an update on his condition, but they never took the time to follow up. I understand they are extremely busy, but given we had no contact with my father due to his covid status,  on admission he couldn't update us himself and it created more work for the nurses when they had to follow up with the consultant to answer my questions. 

The lack of communication at consultant level was very frustrating. Given the circumstances I would have thought a caring organisation would have been more emphatic to the situation, instead of taking the view that a telephone consult was scheduled and there could be no flexibility around it. 

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