"Further Feedback"

About: Kettering General Hospital

My previous complaint (see page 7of 24) was about a surgeons secretary not responding to important phone calls. It would appear that resources to answer phone calls is a serious problem at Kettering General Hospital (There are a number of issues throughout your reviews where patients have complained about the apparent apathy in picking up calls) Yesterday my Father had a serious operation in the Colo-rectal ward. We took him in at 0730 and were advised to call about 1430 in the afternoon. We did this and were told to call back at 1700. We still did not know what his status was at 0900 this morning when we had yet another battle in getting someone to respond to the phone! My mother who is 80 was absolutely trembling with worry because we could not get positive affirmation of my fathers condition... Unfortunately no one can be bothered to answer the phone, what is even more disturbing is that the phone (or someone in the ward) hangs up the phone when you are trying to get through. More disturbing still, despite phoning Deene A, Deene B and the recovery ward as instructed it would appear no-one knew where my father was. However the mystery was solved today when we went into the ward as his identity bracelet did not have his surname entered on it. An inexcusable mistake when dealing with geriatrics I would have said. I did get to speak with the Ward Matron today regarding our worrying experience and was told that a staff member had left and one had not turned up for work. Whilst I can sympathize with her, both PALS and the staff Matron do not seem to understand that this is a systemic problem that is evident throughout your published reviews. Apologizing each time this happens is not resolving the problem. Action needs to be taken to fix your weak communications culture at Kettering General. I am sad to say it appears to be weak from the top to the bottom. Might I suggest: Get some resource to man the phones effectively! If a phone is ringing answer it>>>>someone is probably going spare wondering what has happened to a loved one? This hospital needs a good stiff Quality Care Commission Evaluation to sort out these issues as a matter of urgency...

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment. We value all feedback from our patients and their families as it provides an important opportunity to understand what we are doing well or how we can improve. Please accept my sincere apologies for the upset and distress to yourself and your family. As an organisation we continually strive to provide the highest quality of care and service to our patients and their families. There are procedures in place to ensure phone calls/messages are responded to and I would welcome an opportunity to discuss this and the other elements of your experience with you personally. Please make contact with our Patient Advise and Liaison service (PALS) team via telephone on 01536 493305 who will be able to put you through to me directly. Mairead Lacken-Hillery Associate General Manager – Surgery Clinical Business Unit

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