"TIA Clinic"

About: Maidstone District General Hospital

My mother had a TIA while we were away on holiday. When we returned, I rang the TIA clinic to find out what had caused her TIA, what tests had been done and their results, what further tests were going to be done, and any advice for my mother on lifestyle - i.e. what to do and what to avoid. As a patient, anxious at the time, my Mum had not taken in all that was said to her, and had not been given much of the information in the first place. On my first telephone call I was informed by the consultant's secretary that he would be writing an outcome letter, and that would give me the information I was asking for. (This letter arrived 11 days after the appointment). As I had specifically requested a leaflet on TIA, the secretary said she would find one from the stroke ward and include it in the letter. On my second call, I was able to speak to the consultant himself, which was good, but I had to ask very specific questions in order to be able to get information from him, and even then he wasn't very forthcoming, and made it obvious that he didn't really have time to talk to me. I am aware that there are a lot of demands on doctors' time, but I do believe that my Mum should have been given an advisory leaflet before leaving the clinic, as well as a short written summary of the appointment. If there is not the opportunity to do the summary at the time, this should be done and forwarded to the patient within the next day or two. I also believe that a member of staff should be available to answer questions the patient or their family member may have. I feel that changes need to be made to the system regarding this situation - it is important that patients are aware of any activities they should avoid, and what they can do to help themselves - even if this is only contact information for other organisations, such as The Stroke Association. They should also understand what is happening with their treatment.

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Response from Maidstone District General Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry that you found it difficult to obtain the information you were seeking and appreciate you raising this matter. We have passed your comments on to the General Manager for Specialist and Elderly Medicine, so that they can consider these as part of their regular reappraisal of services. If you would like to discuss this issue in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01622 224960 or 01892 632953 or email us at mtwpals@nhs.net. Kind regards, The PALS Team (AS)

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