"Appalling treatment and attitude"

About: The Tunbridge Wells Hospital

My very elderly grandmother saw an ENT doctor ate in 2013/early 2014. The clinic was running very late and the wait was distressing for her. No information was forthcoming from staff. She was told by letter that she would be listed for OP surgery. She was not. When I phoned to chase her appointment the person who took the call said ‘oh no. not another one who’s been missed off the list.’ She had a pre op assessment and again waited a long time on the day. She was assured she would be first on the list on the day of the op. On the day of the op she waited several hours and, again, no explanation was forthcoming about the reasons for the delay or why others were being treated and she was not. Her companion was repeatedly told she could ‘go home and come back later’ even though my grandmother’s age, very poor sight and profound hearing loss meant she needed someone with her. When my grandmother was called, her companion was told she needn’t accompany her and that my grandmother did not need to change into the dressing gown and slippers she had been asked to bring. The op was carried out on my grandmother fully clothed. When the op was finished her clothing was very blood-stained. This should not have happened. Her head was heavily bandaged and her companion was told the bandage would need to be removed and the dressing changed later that evening. My grandmother lives on her own. This should have been identified at the pre op assessment and arrangements made for a district nurse to visit. No such arrangements had been made. It was expected that my grandmother’s companion, would return that evening and attend to the redressing. At her follow up appointment my grandmother was told that she would need to have a further follow up as the wound had not fully healed. Again, she was missed off the list. I raised these matters with the hospital nearly two months ago and have still not had any response from the complaints department.

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Response from The Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave comments on your grandmother's experience of the ENT Service. We were disappointed to learn of the difficulties your grandmother has encountered and can appreciate the concern and frustration this must have caused. We note that you have registered a complaint with the Trust and we would encourage you to contact the complaints team on 01622 226408 or email mtw-tr.complaints@nhs.net to discuss the progress of the investigation. Please be assured that we take all complaints extremely seriously and want to work with you to ensure that we thoroughly address your concerns. Kind regards, The PALS Team.

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