"Appalling lack of communication"

About: North Middlesex Hospital

Anything else?

My daughter was taken to A&E from another specialist hospital because she needed a particular drip. She was accompanied by a nurse, an explanatory letter and blood test results ( already done at other hospital). She arrived at 4.45pm and was seen quickly initially. However no bed was found for her until 8.30pm - which could not be helped but it was obvious what treatment she needed and she could have been given some medication orally but instead had to wait nearly 4 hours before she received anything. She then spent 24 hours in AAU where there seemed to be a ridiculous shortage of staff - her drip finished and she needed another one but had to wait over 2 hours before this happened. She was connected to a heart monitor which they disconnected when she had to go to the bathroom but they never bothered reattaching it to her, worst of all none of the nursing staff seemed to be aware of her history despite the letter she brought in from the other hospital. Staff kept trying to pump her full of more fluids without checking when in actual fact too much fluid is as dangerous as too little. She was moved again to a ward in the Tower block as she needed blood but again staff were trying to give her other fluids too, despite the fact that the doctor had clearly stated that she should just be given blood. Doesn't anyone ever write anything in the patients notes so other people caring for them can see what should and shouldn't be done? I stayed with her on the 2nd night as she was alone in a room with a closed door and no-one really checking on her. Her blood drip clogged up and took about 6 hours until someone finally noticed. And why does a cleaner barge in at about 6am throwing bleach on the floor and turning on lights - the smell was nauseating. After finally waiting to see a doctor to be discharged back to the other hospital. having not had the proper blood tests done because the nurse 'forgot' to send them, she was found to have too high a level of the fluids she had been given - with the nurses still insisting she take more orally - so then had to have an ECG. Which, surprise surprise, took 4 people to do as no-one knew how to use the machine. Furthermore a complaint to the PALS office met with nothing but excuses for the medical staff and this woman in the PALS office didn't bother to actually listen to what I was saying. Oh they also forgot to give her meals and got completely muddled about what she had ordered - very inappropriate in the circumstances. It was an altogether appalling experience.

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Response from North Middlesex Hospital

Thanks very much for your feedback. We have just transferred the acute assessment unit (AAU) ward to a new building and we still have some teething problems. Please get in touch with me, (I am the unit general manager) so I can sort out the issues you raised. Many thanks. My email is jonathangardner@nhs.net.

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