About: Dorset County Hospital

Last Friday,July 4th,my wife,aged 81,was admitted to A and E after a bad fall,where she broke her left arm in 4 places.By 5am on Saturday it was decided to keep her in until the senior doctor could examine her.She was admitted to Purbeck Ward. Around 11am I rang to check on the decision and was told that the doctor was releasing her as soon as she had her medication.The nurse suggested I came to collect her at 12.30 to allow time for the pharmacy to dispense the medication(codeine and paramecatol). At 1.15pm I asked the sister what was happening and the sister rang the pharmacy, and in effect was told they would get the medicines when they were ready. By 2.15pm I was getting pretty angry. Fortunately one of the nurses decided to press the issue and went down to the pharmacy and succeeded in getting them. I asked how many staff were in Pharmacy and was told there were 2. The pharmacy opens at 10.30am at weekends. Medicine orders are passed to Pharmacy at the end of ward rounds, which is around 10.30. This means that after nearly 4 hours my wife`s medicine would still not have arrived if it had not been for the initiative of a nurse. I suggest there are 3 issues here: 1. 2 staff on Pharmacy supplying the whole hospital seems ridiculous. 2. The response of the Pharmacy staff to the enquiry was, in effect,we do not care that someone is waiting to take a patient home, even though the medication would have been readily available off the shelf. Why could they not have said that if a nurse came down they could have it then? 3. When I read on a noticeboard that there are 2 people you can complain to if you are not satisfied with the ward answer I was told that they, like most senior staff, are not available at weekends. Is Dorchester hospital being run for the benefit of the senior staff or for patients? I may add that I had the same experience of no senior staff around at weekends when I was a patient some time ago. I should appreciate a response to this review.

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Response from Dorset County Hospital

I am sorry to read about your recent experience; the delays you experienced do seem extreme and not what I would expect from the pharmacy team I will share your concerns/observations with our chief pharmacist. If you would like to contact us to give us any more information that may help understand what happened on that particular day, we would be pleased to discuss your concerns with you. Please contact our PALS service on 0800 7838058 or pals@dchft.nhs.uk Kind regards, Alison Tong, Director of Nursing, Dorset County Hospital

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