"Fabulous patient care shame about the rehab location"

About: Alexandra Hospital / Accident and emergency Alexandra Hospital / Gynaecology Alexandra Hospital / Respiratory medicine The Grange

(as a friend),

I have been asked to write this by my elderly and rather frail friend was admitted to the hospital via emergency GP referral. Upon arrival she was transferred to the A&E Department. She was informed that the respiratory team were expecting her. She was seen by a lovely doctor who managed to bring a smile to her face despite the fact that my friend was frightened and feeling very unwell.

Very soon, she was moved to MAU female who again were fabulous. After a couple of days my friend was transferred to Ward 5. She cannot speak highly enough of the staff on that ward. She was very impressed by their dedication and kindness that they showed towards her. She says that the nurses and HCAs were "wonderful in the face of adversity", (there was an elderly male patient who wandered endlessly and was very rude and aggressive towards the staff). She especially wishes to thank Maddie, Sister Lisa, and all the staff who were on shift in early November when she celebrated her 90th birthday.

She was very soon diagnosed as medically fit and discharged by the respiratory team whereby she was moved to Ward 9 for physio. Once again, she is delighted with the physios and occupational therapists who gave her the confidence to start walking again.

Unfortunately this is where the wonderful experience ends and I am writting this on my behalf. My friend was awaiting a bed at Bromsgrove Princess of Wales for rehab. Last Thursday, my friend was told that a rehab bed had become available and she was going to The Grange in Kidderminster. As my friend's preferred next-of-kin she asked the staff on the ward to contact me as she was not keen to go so far from Redditch. At 16:35 I received a call from a friend on ward 17 stating that ward 9 had been trying to contact me. I was a little confused by this as they had been provided with all my contact numbers and no calls had been received all day. I contacted ward 9 and spoke to a HCA who informed me that my friend had been transferred to Kidderminster.

Words cannot express my anger at this news. The staff had apparently been asked several times by my friend to contact me. She was very reluctant to go but was told by someone in a dark blue uniform that she had no choice and must go were there is a bed. I am appalled for several reasons.

I was listed as her next of kin on admission because although she has 3 sisters none of them live locally and all have serious health issues. Surely if she requests that they contact me then an effort needs to be made to do just that? I can only assume that this was not done until after her transfer as they knew my response would be a resounding no. My friend is 90 years old and whilst medically fit is still frail. She suffers from depression and having visitors brightened her day and made her feel that people were supporting her through her illness. As one of only two drivers the majority of my friend's visitors relied on public transport and taxis. With the decision to transfer her to Kidderminster she has effectively been cut off from the majority of her visitors.

Whilst she has no complaints so far about her care at The Grange she is astute enough to realise this and is unhappy at being so far away. It is a 40 mile round trip from Redditch.

I spoke to the staff there who informed me that they had been sent my friends hospital file by mistake. I told them that my contact details would be in the file but when we checked the contact information they were incorrect and out of date by several years. Had any contact needed to be made, the person listed would most certainly not have had my friends best interests at heart.

This is a sad end to what had been a very successful experience for my friend.

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Response from Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for your comments, which we received this week via the Patient Opinion website; I was very sorry to read about your concerns regarding your friends care. If you would like us to investigate these issues, please email us at patientservices.dept@worcsacute.nhs.uk with some more details.

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