"Built-in discharge delays"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

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On Friday 29th November our friend was discharged after a night in AMU. At 2.00 p.m she was told to contact us and we arrived by 3.30 p.m. Her medication was not available when we arrived and did not come until about 7.30 that evening. It was not the fault of the overworked, pleasant staff. It was the system. I understand that initially the doctor caring for our friend was unsure which medicine to prescribe but that was decided by 4.00 p.m The rest of the time it was because the prescription had to be sent up to the Pharmacy and then, once dispensed, returned with the general hospital medication round in the evening. Clearly that is not efficient. Once the script was dispensed, the ward should have been rung so they could collect or a porter dispatched to CDU. With the size of the hospital and the fact that 'we cannot contact the porter when he's on his trolley round' which would allow them to intercept the porter and collect, this causes a further long (from the time we were told it had left on the porter's trolley until it arrived was nearly two hours) delay. Nurses time is wasted because they have to make cups of tea to keep those waiting happy. It must also lay them open to abuse or worse. Any system which in itself has built-in delaying features is a poor system. This needs serious reconsideration. Alongside this another patient who had been called in at 12 noon because a bed had become available was kept waiting until c.6.30 p.m. because the bed was not cleared. It might be helpful for administrative staff to spend some time on the wards to see the problems and devise sensible solutions.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Sincere apologies for the delay in facilitating your friend's discharge and the long wait to receive her medication. As a Trust we take feedback seriously so the matron for the area will look into why the delayed occurred.

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