"Children's Ward C2"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

I have recently spent seven days in C2 with my daughter, who was very poorly with pancreatitis. I can not fault the care and commitment of all the nursing staff on the ward. Their care was thorough, as too were their genuine concern for her wellbeing. Often many of the nurses made special journeys to visit her if they had been deployed to other areas of the ward, in order to monitor her progress. As my daughter's condition was quite unusual, I feel that the consultants took great care over their attempts to find the cause of her condition, exhausting tests. The staff completing the MRI, were also very aware that the procedure could be unpleasant, and they took great care in explaining the procedure. The Play therapy was invaluable, especially when all my daughter could do was watch DVDs on the player that they had lent her for the duration of her stay. A great aid to her recovery, as it enabled my daughter to 'zone out', on a ward that could be quiet noisy with other younger poorly children (and especially with unthinking parents who often had no realisation that other children on the bay were very poorly). Again the staff were most accommodating regarding the noise, and made all attempts to move my daughter to a quieter area, though they were unable to do so ( which we were more than understanding, due to having no control of children/patients or parents being admitted onto the ward). My only issue was that pharmacy did not draw up my daughter's pain relief medication. We were discharged from the ward at 3:00pm, with the understanding that I could return around 6:00pm to collect her medication. After several enquiries and phone calls to C2, with staff making many attempts to locate the medication, by 8:45pm C2 staff and I decided to wait until the morning to collect her meds'. Hoping that my daughter would be able to manage her pain. By 5:30am, my daughter was in a great deal of pain, and by 6:30am post a phone call to C2, it was agreed to bring my daughter back to the ward in order to have some pain relief. Much to my daughter's distress we traveled very slowly back to the hospital, which took us 30 minutes. Credit to C2 there was a bed ready for her, and pain relief given. However, it took until 12:30pm for us to collect her meds'. again no fault of C2 staff, the 'drugs card had been hand delivered to pharmacy the previous day, and it could not be located, therefore, a nurse from the ward, went to the surgical team in charge of my daughter's care, and had a prescription written and signed, which we then had to present to pharmacy. One other grip, was due to the medication not been drawn up, I had to use the car park, and incurred a £5.50 car park fee. Though, I did enquire whether I was still expected to pay as the incident was no fault of ours, as I had previously been exempt from paying the £27.50 fee that I had incurred as I bought my daughter into A&E and had not choice but to leave my car in the car park.

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your daughters stay on our Children’s Ward. We are pleased to hear that your daughter was so well looked after and that we were able to make her stay as pleasant as possible. We know that having a child in hospital can be an incredibly stressful and worrying time, so we are glad we were able to put you at ease and arrange a bed for your daughter as soon as she needed to return. We have passed your thanks and lovely comments on to the doctors, nurses and other staff who were involved in your daughter’s care. We are sorry, however, that you had problems getting your daughter’s medication from our pharmacy and that your daughter had to be readmitted to hospital because of this. This is not the type of service we would expect to deliver to patients. Our pharmacy aims to turn round all prescriptions within two hours of receipt, with the average turnaround time for medications for the past three months being under two hours. Children’s Ward is usually given priority by our pharmacy team and the average turnaround time for this particular ward is currently 97 minutes. However, because our pharmacy uses a paper-based system for prescriptions, occasionally delays do occur as a result of prescriptions being misplaced or not being in the correct place. We are currently looking at the way we process prescriptions in the hospital and are hoping to replace our paper-based system with an electronic one in the future. Your comments have been passed on to our Head of Pharmacy who has reminded staff of the importance of taking extra care when handling hand written prescriptions.

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