"Poor first impression"

About: Freeman Hospital

I visited my mother on ward 12 at the weekend following her transfer from wansbeck hospital. The healthcare assistant attending to my mother was over familiar & spoke to me as though my mother wasn't in the room. She made a comment that she was not eating much & I responded that it is hard to eat with no teeth! She appeared surprised & asked where her teeth were to which I replied she hadn't had them since being admitted! A distinct lack of basic observation of a patient. Failing to notice that a patient needs to have a soft diet is extremely concerning. Also the lack of information that is shared with relatives is farcical. I understand there are confidentiality issues but documenting who a patient wishes information to be shared with would put a stop to the 'attitude' of some of the medical staff who think they can talk down to you because you dare to enquire over the telephone about a patients welfare!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Freeman Hospital

Thank you for posting your feedback on NHS Choices. We are very disappointed that you were unhappy with the care delivered by the Surgical Team on Ward 12 . The Trust strives to deliver the highest standard of care and patient experience at all times and we are saddened to hear you felt our communication with you and your mother was over familiar and not professional. This has been addressed with the nursing team as a whole. It is also very disappointing to hear you felt the Health Care Assistant was less than satisfactory in her approach to your mothers eating and lack of teeth. The nutritional support of the patient is of prime importance to their recovery and the Trust has policies in place to support this. We are sorry if you felt this wasn’t the case during your mother’s stay. In regards to passing information regarding a patient’s health via the telephone the Trust has strict guidelines for staff to ensure patient confidentiality is maintained. Staff are not able to identify a person’s voice over the phone unless this has been agreed in advance however we expect this message to be conveyed in an appropriate way and apologise if you felt you were being talked down to. The Trust and the team on ward 12 strive to provide high quality care and we feel this has not been achieved in your experience and we apologise for this. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the issues that you have raised in detail with you, please contact Matron Henaghan Surgical services on 0191 233 6161.

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