"Why can't there be senior nurse led discharges in such situations?"

About: Northern General Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

My routine surgical procedure went well and I stayed 2 nights in Firth 4. The nursing care at all levels from healthcare assistant to sister (and especially the three staff nurses responsible for my day and night care during the period) was very good - consistent, responsive, kind and efficient. A difficult situation on the ward because of the condition of one of the patients was managed well with proper attention to dignity and an extra support system at night. The ward environment and caretaking was also good. Overall it was a big improvement on a stay I had in one of the Huntsman wards five years ago.

However the discharge procedure has not improved. My discharge was agreed with a consultant at 9.00 am, but the written procedure did not even start until 4pm when I was told that my prescription had not yet even been ordered from the dispensary and could take 2 or 3 hours. Since 2 of them were common OTC drugs and I wasn't sure I wanted the third, I took an agreed discharge without waiting, with details of what I would have been prescribed. Another patient was deciding to do the same.

Exactly the same happened in my previous stay and it was a similar story when my wife was discharged from the Hallamshire last year - waiting a whole day for a physio to take her up and down one flight of stairs when she was easily mobile enough - this in a Trust which sometimes has difficulty in meeting its A&E target and complains of bedblockers.

What seems to happen is that the moment that a routine discharge is agreed it slips right down the priority list, especially if the duty junior has urgent cases to deal with and does not get round to the paperwork until the end of the day. Why can't there be senior nurse led discharges in such situations?

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Response from Debbie Fletcher, Patient Partnership, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Sir

Thank you for your kind comments that you have made about the care provided by our staff on ward Firth 4, these will be passed on to the staff concerned.

I was sorry however to hear about the problems both you and your wife have experienced around discharge arrangements. We would like to be able to respond in more detail to you about this and also respond to your question about why can’t there be senior nursed led discharges.

If you would like us to investigate your concerns further please do contact our Patient Services Team on either 0114 271 2400 or pst@sth.nhs.uk and they will take additional details from you so that we can respond fully.

Thank you again

Mrs Deborah Hopkinson

Patient Experience Co-ordinator

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