"Excellent care provided at North Devon District Hospital"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Acute Stroke Unit (ASU)

(as a relative),

While on holiday in Barnstaple visiting my son and family recently, my husband became very unsteady and began to struggle with his speech and was unable to express himself. I thought he was about to suffer a stroke as he had a serious one 2 ½ years previously. I decided to take him immediately to Barnstaple hospital A&E Department with my son leading the way across the town we reached the hospital quickly, the time being 6:30pm.

As soon as we entered the A&E reception area the staff could not have been more helpful. We registered at the main desk, all details were taken quickly and efficiently by a very polite young lady who called for a wheelchair to make my husband comfortable, and in a few minutes we were seen by a very pleasant nurse who was very concerned. She also took details quickly and called for the Doctor who then transferred my husband to a bed in an assessment cubicle.

My husband was taken to have a scan, x-ray and blood samples were taken. After only 2 ½ hours of being at the hospital my husband was admitted to the Acute Stroke Unit. He was helped by two very helpful cheery nurses into a bed for the night (having not brought anything with us they organised everything to make his night comfortable).

I was given details for the ward and a number to call if I felt I needed an update at any time on my husbands progress. Before I left the ward another Doctor came to examine my husband and look at the scan. Everybody was very polite and ready to answer my questions.

The following day I phoned and was able to speak on the phone with my husband which reassured me that all was well. My husband was seen by 3 Doctors during his stay over night and the following day. The Senior Doctor in the unit came during the afternoon and after thoroughly examining my husband he explained to us that John had suffered a TIA ensuring that we understood what that was and what it meant, then giving us the all clear to return home after a couple of days rest.

In present times when complaints are uppermost in peoples minds I would like to send this letter to praise the staff you have in place at the North Devon District Hospital Acute Stroke Unit and thank them for all the care and attention given to my husband in May 2015.

I would also like to thank and mention all the members of staff we came across from the first receptionist until my husband was discharged. With special thanks to the Sister/Ward Manager on duty in the ASU. Although it was an upsetting stressful time I was afforded time and empathy by all staff involved in the wonderful care my husband received.

Due to the stressful situation I am unable to recall the names of the receptionist, Nurses and Doctors involved though please pass on my sincere thanks.

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear relative

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, I was very pleased to note that you had such prompt and caring treatment throughout your husbands attendance at the Emergency department and subsequently the Stroke unit, and that staff kept you updated throughout. It must have been a very worrying time for both you and your family, and it's good to see that you were shown such empathy at all times.

I have shared your kind comments with both the Emergency department and Stroke unit managers where I know they will be warmly received, and I hope your husband has now made a full recovery.

Best wishes

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