"Discharge arrangements"

About: Northern General Hospital / Cardiothoracic surgery

(as a relative),

My Aunt has just been on ward 4 of chesterman unit at the Northern General where she had 2 heart valve replacements. The care she received was excellent and she is making a good recovery. The only disappointment we had was with her discharge. No arrangements had been made for her warfarin follow up which meant the day after her discharge she traveled all the way to Barnsley General for her blood taking. This should have been a consideration for the staff on ward 4 and the Dr's looking after her. This could have had serious consequences for her recovery.

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Response from Deborah Hopkinson, Patient Experience Co-ordinator, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Sir or Madam

I was pleased to hear about the excellent care provided to your aunt on Chesterman 4 but was sorry to hear that the discharge arrangments were not as good. As you rightly say this may have led to serious consequences.

I wondered if you or your aunt would be able to contact us to provide more information so that we could look into this matter in more detail? If you are able to contact one of our Patient Services Team on telephone number 0114 271 2400 or email pst@sth.nhs.uk one of the team will be able to assist.

Kind regards

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Response from Deborah Hopkinson, Patient Experience Co-ordinator, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Further to my earlier email, I have have now been advised that anticoagulation services vary around the region. For example, patients newly started on warfarin in Sheffield should be referred to our anticoagulation clinic, in Rotherham to Rotherham Hospital, in Barnsley to Barnsley Hospital, in the Doncaster/Bassetlaw area it varies between GPs and hospital which may be dependent on a geographical basis, Chesterfield go to Chesterfield Hospital, but into more rural Derbyshire patients tend to go to GPs.

Chesterman 4 take a lot of patients who do not live in Sheffield, and we do try to refer patients to the correct local service before they are discharged from hospital. I have been told that an audit last year demonstrated that Chesterman 4 have the highest rate of new starters on warfarin, and in all cases they referred patients to the correct service.

Furthermore, Barnsely Hospitial have also been contacted and they have confirmed that they take all new referrals initially, however when a patient is on a appointment of 6 weeks or more and the GP practice provides anticoagulation monitoring then at that point they can be transferred to GP care upon a suitable request from the GP practice.

In referring your aunt to Barnsley Hospital for anticoagulation monitoring, the ward have followed the correct procedure for arranging safe follow-up.

I hope this information is useful in responding further to your feedback.

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