"The staff at the clinical dignostic, ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as a relative),

What I liked

The staff at the clinical dignostic, A&E and CCU were fantastic when my father was rushed in, I cannot praise them enough.

What could be improved

Once on a Knebworth Ward the communications to family need to be greatly improved, my father was in for 2 weeks and not once did we have a chance to see his doctor and one one ocassion I did see one of the junior doctors who said was treating him she didn't seem to know what treatment he needed. It transpires he should have been reffered to the Urology team whilst an in-patient but this did not happen. The appointments / admin needs a good shake up it is not fit for purpose.

Anything else?

He was dicharged in a rush, having been told he would go home the next day the physio came to check he could climb stairs and he was then told my sister who was visiting at the time could take him home. He was told to wait for his medication. he then realised he was not on medication so was told, when you daughter comes back (she had gone down to put more money in the car park) he coul; go home and they would fax his notes to the GP , (this they did eventually and the information was wrong as to why he was in hopsital) and send an outpatients appointment. The O P appointment didn't appear so I rang and was told he had only been home 2 weeks so it would not have come yet, after another 2 weeks I rang again and got left hanging on,who was he to see, how was I supposed to know that?? asked questions, hang on again then got a very quick appointment, I think his refferal had been lost or left in a draw somewhere! Since then he has had appointments cancelled an re-arranged, each time it goes on another 2 or 3 weeks he has to go to QE2, Hertford and the Lister, he is a man of 85 and if I was not here to take him I am sure he would end up at the wrong hospital! it is now nearly 6 months since his first admission before we got the final diagnosis and correct treatment fro prostate cancer! If I had not kept pushing I think he would still be waiting.

As it is we are now waiting for an appointment for a bone scan at Lister, who know's how long that will take I can see me having to chase that as well!

All in all it is a very sorry tale of efficient medical staff being let down by a woefully useless administration system.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and while pleased at the prompt and high quality care that your father received when first brought in to hopsital, we – like you – are disappointed at the problems experienced during his time on the QEII's Knebworth ward and, subsequently, the Trust’s outpatient appointment system.

We would like to make one observation and two offers of help. The observation is as much for you and your father, as it is for anyone else reading this response. When someone is in hospital and they are unhappy with the care they are receiving, then we encourage them to speak with either the matron on charge of that area or the duty matron if it becomes more urgent.

Across our hospitals we have over 30 matrons now; part of their role is to intervene on their patients' behalf where they have concerns. While this cannot undo what you experienced while your father was on Knebworth ward, it might help resolve future such problems should he require to be admitted to one of our hospitals in future.

The two offers we would like to make are as follows:

1) If you would like us to chase up the bone scan appointment for you, then please send us the following information – your father's full name, address, date of birth and, ideally, his hospital number if you know it – to the following e-mail address: generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net. If you can provide a little information about what the appointment is for, then we will work on your behalf to get this all sorted.

2) The second offer is to have your father's care, both while on Knebworth and subsequently when discharged home, to be investigated as a formal complaint. While your experience of the ward and outpatient administration system is not typical of the service we provide to our patients, it has caused real inconvenience and delay, for which we are sorry. We would like the matter to be investigated not just so lessons can be learnt, but also for you and your father to receive a formal apology. Your complaint should be sent to the same e-mail address – generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net – and we will ensure it gets sent on to the right team on your behalf.

Once again our apologies for all these problems, but thank you for bringing them to our attention.

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