"Lack of compassion for bereaved family of patient"

About: Royal Brompton Hospital

My father was a patient at this hospital where he was being seen and treated for sleep apnoea, and was issued with a CPAP machine. He died suddenly 3 weeks ago from an unrelated condition. On trying to deal with his affairs, we telephoned the hospital to try to arrange for the return of this equipment. We have endured 2 telephone calls with people at the respiratory unit, who have insisted that we have to hand-deliver the machine back to them, or post the machine (which, given it is heavy, will cost in excess of £20) to them. The attitude of the people spoken to has been unfeeling and totally lacking in compassion - we have been told that my father signed a contract stating that he would return the machine - but he is dead. I work full-time, the only other relative in this country is disabled, and we each live in North London. I have been shocked and upset by the lack of empathy at this very difficult time, and the insistence that the return of the CPAP machine is down to us, his grieving family. One would have thought that a courier could be arranged to collect it, if the hospital wants it back.

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Response from Royal Brompton Hospital

We are very sorry to hear that your father has passed away. We understand that dealing with the return of this equipment is upsetting on top of everything else that you have to contend with following your bereavement. Your comment has been passed on to the respiratory team. If you wish to have this matter investigated further, please contact PALS on: 020 7349 7715 or pals@rbht.nhs.uk. This is a confidential service.

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