"Admin very poor"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

Anything else?

Medical care was OK (as far as I know), but admin was shambolic. Decisions were made, but nothing was written down, so they were forgotten. I spoke to a nurse about this, and she told me that they were supposed to note everything down on computer, but that the computer system was too complicated to use. I know of 8 occasions where I was completely forgotten. They took 2 whole days to discharge me. At 3pm, after enquiring about progress of my discharge, I was met with "You're still here? They've all gone home. You'll have to stay another night". Three days after a plaster was supposed to come off, the doctor asked why it was still on. The answer from another team member was: "We all agreed it was coming off, but nobody wrote it down". The next day, they'd decided that it would stay on another 4 weeks. The plaster was left on because 'I had been seen putting my weight on it'. My protestations that this never happened ( it would have been far too painful) were ignored. (I finally first put my weight on it 6 months later). When I was at last allowed to demonstrate that I could climb stairs, I ran up them 4 at a time, but was not allowed to pass the test until I demonstrated shuffling up one at a time, leaning on the rail with my elbow. Again, noone was listening to me when I said I was OK with walking. Upon discharge, I walked about 3 miles the first day I was out. Of 4 out-patient appointments, only one proceeded normally. After 2 months, I'm still waiting for one promised appointment for a particular condition. Luckily for me, it has resolved itself in the meantime. After discharge, with a plaster still on, there was no appointment to remove it. I 'phoned and emailed the department, but there was no response to either. I had to get my GP to force the appointment to take the plaster off. Someone at the Brighton end said "The plaster's still on? It should have been removed weeks ago". The 4th appointment was requested by the hospital, but when I arrived, nobody knew why I was there. An hour after I arrived, various people were still asking me who I was. I discovered that the procedure for 'urgent' physiotherapy is to wait 8-10 days, then fax the request to the other hospital. In 2013, seriously? Have these people not heard of email? The solution to most of this is really easy,and could be done today. Acquire some pens and notebooks, and just write the decisions down. Act on them that very day.This is so obvious and simple, yet doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

We were so sorry to learn of your poor experience in the orthopaedic department and appreciate you writing to tell us about this. We would very much like to discuss your experience in more detail. If this would be agreeable with you please contact the complaints team either by email to complaints@bsuh.nhs.uk or by calling us on 01273 664511

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