"Follow up Process appalling"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

I was taken in to A&E on the 01st May 2014 and from the point of Ambulance and Nurses in A&E thy were without fault, always helpful and friendly. When it came to doctors you had a mixed bag of 1 or 2 very good but the vast majority just talked at you and not with you. This was found out later after my discharge when I was given a copy of my discharge notes and to put it blunt at least they got my name correct the rest was hit and miss to be factual. Not one doctor explained what I had and prognosis on how it would affect me. I had a CT Scan that showed that I had at some point had a stroke... and that I would need an MRI scan to look closer. Having gone home to recover I received my appointment letter on 13th May to go back to see the consultant only problem the appointment was for the 12th May and me not having a time machine decided to book another appointment. I saw the consultant in AMU ward on 19th May only to find he could not get his computer to work and asked why I had not had my MRI Scan so basically I informed him I had not received on... at which he said you should have had it by now.... It is now several weeks later and still no appointment or communication from doctors... So I had to chase the lady in MRI appointments office only t be told on 2 occasions that the MRI was not being done and had been sent back to the A&E consultant to see if he still wanted it done. It is now nearly July and not 1 doctor has had the courtesy to up date the patient at any point I have left 2 messages with their department and till no response. This is an appalling process that anyone who has been told at the beginning they have had a stroke has to go through. If I am ok and do not require an MRI or follow up appointment then that's great news but at least has the professionalism and courtesy to inform the patient. It seems that they are just to busy to actually care about what the have done or said ,

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you, Tony, for posting your comments about our emergency services. We are pleased you were impressed by our nursing staff but naturally disappointed to hear you found our doctors ‘a mixed bag’. We must apologise for the very poor communication you experienced during, and after, your visit. We aim to offer our patients the highest standards of care, and involving them and explaining fully what is happening is so important. It is so disheartening to read how far short we fell of this aim. Please accept our apologies for any distress or anxiety you have been caused. You say a CT scan picked up that you had had a stroke at some point. A stroke or minor stroke is treated as a medical emergency and, if a stroke is suspected, patients are seen immediately by our specialist stroke team for a stroke assessment. Patients would then be admitted directly to the stroke ward to receive the most appropriate treatment for the best outcome. You make a pertinent and valid point that if you did not need a scan, you ought to have been contacted and informed of the change of decision. Again, we must apologise that this has not happened. We would welcome the opportunity to investigate all the concerns you have raised because it is important we learn lessons, improve our processes and ensure your poor experience is not repeated. If you would like us to do this, please get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 01510.

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