"Extraordinary patience & respect!"

About: National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square

Anything else?

My father (80 yrs) was admitted for a spinal operation, about which he had been very nervous. He was well-received by nursing staff (can't recall the name of the ward now) and made comfortable. I left him a couple of hours after, he was to have the operation the next day. I had a difficult journey home, in heavy commuter traffic. so was pretty exasperated to receive a call requesting me to return to the hospital to collect a large amount of money that dad had been discovered to have in the hospital with him. My dad is a difficult character in many ways and is very fussy about keeping large amounts of money and ~ trusting nobody to look after it. I quickly recognised the picture painted by the person who had rung me; they had offered to place it in a safe on the ward, for dad to have back when he was discharged. They had no other choice but to ask me to return, so I did and the money came home with me. When I saw dad after the operation, he was very confused and might, I believe, have become temporarily psychotic. He described numerous fantasies about poisoned air being pumped into the ward, people wanting him to be photographed by the paperazzi and other, similarly bizarre ideations. He decided he wanted to discharge himself and did so. He was very rude and angry towards nursing staff, some of whom were very young and I thought vulnerable to his anger. All staff were very calm and controlled around him and I wondered whether this might not be a totally one-off experience for them. He confirmed with the ward Sister, that he wanted to discharge himself and they agreed, calmly mentioning the he should allow the staff to remove his cathata before leaving....... I can honestly say that the staff behaved extraordinarily patiently and kindly, in the face of horrible abuse and resistance from my father. My dad suffered for his premature departure from hospital ~ only hours after his spinal operation. He needed a taxi to get home and was wheeled in a wheelchair to the taxi by a nurse, who was unfailingly kind and understanding towards him. Dad lost his hostility towards the hospital as soon as he left but it is still a topic I will not discuss with him, for fear of re-kindling it. Thank you to all staff at your hospital!

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Response from National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square

Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your experience of your care at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. We are extremely grateful for your positive comments about the high quality of care that your father received. Our clinical staff are extremely experienced in caring for patients who may be feeling anxious or confused and also dealing with situations that may be challenging. I am very sorry that your father felt that he needed to discharge himself early. I hope that he is receiving appropriate support following his operation. As comments on NHS Choices are often anonymous, if there is any further support that can be provided then please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 020 3447 3042 or by email to pals@uclh.nhs.uk.

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