"Total lack of communication at every level"

About: King George Hospital

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My father was discharged from Iris ward today, having been admitted on October 6th. The admission process itself was a total nightmare when, at the five hour mark, a urologist ordered blood tests over the phone and suggested my father be discharged without even being examined! My father's condition, once admitted, required monitoring and patience more than intervention. However, not one member of staff ever approached me to update me about my father's care, and had I not constantly chased around after doctors and nurses, I would never have known what was going on. A dreadful example of the staff's lack of communication was discovering, almost be accident, that my father had had a 'mass' removed during his cystoscopy -- a procedure that I had been informed had been 'fine' and 'normal' when I'd specifically enquired about it. No one had bothered consulting the notes before reassuring me that everything had gone smoothly -- it was five days later that I learned the truth during a general 'catch-up' chat with the SHO. This was a totally unacceptable way to discover potentially worrying news! Yesterday I was informed that medically, my father was fit for release. However, he wouldn't be going home until he'd been seen and assessed by the OT, and a care plan put in place. Today he was discharged -- a frail, weak, 82-year-old gentleman who has been in bed for the past four weeks, losing blood on a daily basis -- without having been seen or assessed by the OT, and without a care plan being devised or discussed with myself as next-of-kin or any other member of the family. Believe me -- I am delighted to have him back in his own home as his morale was unbearably low, but now I have no idea how to secure care or assistance for him as the hospital failed to address these crucial issues. I will be returning to Iris ward tomorrow to pick up my father's medication, as after waiting for eight hours today for the pharmacy to sent it to the ward, my father left without it. I'm not surprised as exactly the same thing happened the last time he was discharged after an inpatient stay in February. The total lack of communication among the various members of staff and, in turn, their inability to take the initiative in communicating with relatives is beyond frustrating and needs to be addressed urgently.

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Response from King George Hospital

I am extremely sorry that you were unhappy with some aspects of your father’s care. It is unacceptable that there was such poor communication from our staff, and I will be feeding this back to the wards and departments involved. I am also concerned that you were not aware of your father’s care plan, and will again be taking this forward. If you would like us to look into this further, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service. You can contact PALS on 01708 435454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk Flo Panel-Coates Director of Nursing

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