"Lack of dignity"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

My 83 year old mother was transferred from a ward at Durham to RVI on Sunday afternoon. We were initially told she would go straight to,ward and nurses at durham performed a handover by phone. At the last minute they apologised and said we were to go via A & E. Following a very speedy and efficient ambulance transfer we were handed over to the RVI. We were put into a cubicle and then the problems started. I advised the nurse that my mums drip was not running and had been told by Durham that this was ok for duration of transfer as long as restarted ASAP on arrival at RVI. In total I asked four separate staff over a three hour period to deal with this, no one ever did. In fact even when they struggled to get blood, due to dehydration, I was told, it still was not sorted out. My mum was moved out of cubicle into the corridor on a trolley, causing her distress. She was not alone and I counted three other distressed patients on trollies in corridor. There was an elderly lady, on her own, sat in a wheelchair in corridor for over an hour, a young woman on gas and air, surrounded by family, and another elderly lady who looked barely conscious. Eventually my mother was seen by the surgical team from ward 36 , they were excellent , and managed to get things moving. I fail to see, though, why my mother lay on a trolley in a busy unit. If this unit is under so much strain then admitting directly to the ward, as initially advised, would seem to be more efficient. She had emergency surgery to correct her problem and I cannot praise the surgical and nursing staff enough. However as a health care professional in another region, I feel that the working practices for admission from other hospitals to a regional centre should be reviewed.

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on NHS Choices. We wish to apologise that your mother’s transfer to the RVI was not to the standard we would expect. Please be assured that for any patient transfer from another hospital, the request for the patient be taken first to the Emergency Department would be determined by the patient’s clinical need at the time. We would also wish to apologise that the nursing staff did not respond to your requests about your mother’s drip. This is clearly not acceptable and has been discussed with the team to ensure that they respond to such requests in a timely manner. As your review is posted anonymously, we are unable to look into your concerns about your mother’s care in the Emergency Department in further detail. If you would like us to do this, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Relations Team on 0191 2231382. We acknowledge and thank you for your positive comments about the surgical and nursing staff who cared for your mother during and after her emergency surgery. Thank you for raising your concerns, please be assured that we take all feedback very seriously and are currently reviewing the clinical capacity available with the Emergency Department and also the patient pathways for those who are admitted from elsewhere. We hope that your mother is recovering well following her surgery.

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