"Great care, excellent staff but some mixed..."

About: Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

The care my 81 year old father received from the ambulance crew and at the Princess Royal University Hospital was outstanding. The St John’s Ambulance first responder arrived within six minutes of being called and provided immediate support until the ambulance arrived two minutes later. Having recently been put onto Walfarin, my father had lost feeling in his left hand and could not judge distances. He also became confused and had difficultly putting sentences together. Since going onto Walfarin he also suffered from a persistent headache and severe leg pain. When he arrived at the hospital he was quickly taken onto a short stay ward for immediate assessment, treatment and observation. The Consultant Cardiologist who saw my father diagnosed a small bleed on the brain and at the base of the spine, both bleeds causing pressure in those areas. A number of MRI scans and a CT later confirmed his diagnosis. He said the cause of the bleeds was almost certainly due to the Walfarin. From that very early diagnosis the ongoing care and attention that he received was excellent! The nursing staff on ward Medical 9 were attentive, friendly, compassionate and even fun. This was the NHS at its best! He was kept in for six days and received around the clock care and attention. I am happy to say that he is now back home and is improving daily. I have no complaints but If I could make one constructive comment it is this; He was seen by too many different doctors during his stay. Each one had a different version of his treatment and care to share with him. He was also asked a number of times about the medication he was on. On his forth day in hospital he was told he could go home that day and arrangements were made, he stayed in. One the fifth day he was again told he was going home, he stayed in. On the sixth day (Friday) he was told he was going home at the weekend but went home that day. This caused my father great confusion and left him feeling the doctors were not talking to each other, consequently he became very anxious that something would go wrong. Doctors need to be giving patients consistent information that reaffirms and strengthens the patient’s belief that they are in safe, professional hands at all times. Thankfully, he was at this hospital.

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Response from Princess Royal University Hospital

Thank you for such detailed feedback about the recent attendance of your father,the speed of diagnosis and treatment and high standards of medical and nursing care. Your comments about the lack of continuity and number of differing medical teams and subsequent questioning of his medical history and medication are things we can improve on and we will seek to do so. I hope he is continuing his recovery well at home.

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