"AAU disaster"

About: Northwick Park Hospital

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My sister was taken to the emergency department in Northwick Park hospital at 5a.m. on Monday August 12th. The doctor said she would need two scans - one on her head to rule out a stroke and one on her leg which was obviously infected. By the time she was admitted to AAU later that day she had had the first scan and a stroke was ruled out. She was still waiting to have a 'doppler' scan on her leg to rule out a blood clot. I happened to be there when she went on to AAU and saw how she was man-handled on to a bed and then left to fend for herself. She had no water and I could get no help from staff. I went to W.H.Smith's to buy her a drink and then was unable to find a cup to give it to her; she drank from the bottle. The nursing care was non existent and when I became upset at her treatment, a male nurse threatened to throw me out! On the Tuesday, I visited in the afternoon and my sister had seen a doctor in the morning and the doctor returned while I was there; she was the first person to show any concern about my sister and the first person to give me any information about what had been happening to her. The leg scan had not happened and the doctor said she would 'chase it up'. I phoned on the morning of the 14th. August and was told that my sister had been moved to James ward. When I visited in the afternoon, I met the doctor on my way in and both she and I were both concerned that the leg scan still had not happened. I was so cross that I went personally to the X-ray and scan department to demand an explanation. I was told that they had sent for my sister to AAU that morning and because she did not materialise, it was assumed that the scan was no longer necessary! No-one on aau had told them of my sister's move to james ward. Such incompetence is unbelievable. If I had not gone personally to sort it out, she would still have been waiting. This is a disgrace and I will be making a formal complaint. My sister spent over three weeks in Northwick Park and the deterioration in her general condition was pitiful to see. Whilst the nurses were generally kind and helpful, they were clearly run off their feet. The 'doctoring' was not good. Every day a different one, each wanting to try something new! And the lack of any doctors over the Bank Holiday weekend - three whole days - was dire. Thank goodness she isn't there now.

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Response from Northwick Park Hospital

We were sorry to learn of the experiences and incidents you have described. Your feedback will be passed on to the relevant managers so that they can take appropriate action. You indicate that you would like to raise your concerns with the Trust formally as a complaint. You can do so via email to nwlh-tr.Trust@nhs.net or in writing to the Chief Executive, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3UJ.

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