"Russells Hall hospital Dudley"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My mother was taken ill and sent into hospital by the rapid response nurses.

On arriving at the hospital in the evening we didn't see a doctor until the early hours some six and a half hours later. By this time we were asking for my mother to be placed on a bed as she suffers with pressure sores and needed to be on an air mattress. I left around bout half an hour later. We were told twice by 2 members of staff in the AEU Dept that they were going to move her to the bedded area as we left.

My sister phoned the following morning to see what was happening and was told that my mum was in the bedded area waiting for a bed on a ward.

We proceeded to visit my mum shortly after lunch that same day and were shocked to find my mother had not moved from the cubicle or bed we had left her on meaning she had been on a trolley for 18 hrs.

Not only that my mother looked worse than when we left her and the nurse looking after my mum never took down her medication details or next of kin details even though we asked numerous times if they needed them. Meaning she had not had all off her medications and her peg regime had not been followed.

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Response from Jackie Dietrich, Communications Manager, Communications and Patient Experience, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your mother’s experience of our hospital. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience. We aim to offer the highest standards of care to all our patients so it is disappointing to hear that we did not achieve this during your recent visit to our Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU). We’d like to apologise for any stress and worry we may have caused you or your mother.

EAU is an inpatient assessment area which unfortunately does get very busy at times. When arriving at the unit, patients are triaged by an appropriately trained nurse to assess their condition. Bloods, swabs and observations are taken and ECGs are completed, if needed. Patients receive the same level of nursing and medical care as they would on any other inpatient ward which includes continuous clinical assessment and review from the unit’s consultant-led team.

We always try to move patients from EAU to the most suitable ward for their condition as soon as possible; however, when the hospital is particularly busy this does not always happen as quickly as we would hope.

Managing patients with pressure ulcers, and preventing them from developing while patients are in our care is a priority for us. All patients should be assessed when they arrive at EAU and if patients are identified as being at risk they will receive specialist care and treatment from the unit’s nursing staff. Patients who are at risk are checked and turned regularly by nursing staff and have four-hourly pressure ulcer monitoring checks completed. Patients can also be given a pressure relieving mattress for their bed or trolley, if one is needed.

The ward clerk in EAU normally confirms every patient’s next of kin on their arrival to the department. However, if a patient has been treated at the hospital in the past, next of kin details will already be held electronically on the Trust’s patient records database.

It is not unusual for patients not to be asked about their medications regime since the introduction of the Summary Care Records system. This system gives the hospital access to the most up-to-date medication information straight from the patient’s GP records. Information held by the hospital from previous recent admissions is also used to confirm patients’ medication needs. We are sorry if our staff did not explain this to you at the time or your visit.

It is difficult to comment on your mother’s specific case without her details and reviewing her medical notes, but if you wished to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 we would happily look into the issues you have raised.

Your feedback has been passed on to the lead nurse for EAU and the matron responsible for this area.

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