"Watching paint dry"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

My mother-in-law is currently a patient on ward 23. The nursing care is fine as far as we can see. She looks clean and well cared for in terms of personal hygiene. However, we have experienced problems communicating with the nursing and medical staff on this ward. We are being given conflicting reports of my mother-in-law's health by different nursing staff and by junior medical staff. We do not know what is going on and this is proving to be very stressful for both my husband and myself. We feel a nuisance when we ask questions, but if we didn't ask questions, we would not be told anything. The answers we get are not comprehensive. Tonight for example my husband was told that his mother is "quite cany". This tells us nothing. When asked if the psychiatrist had been yet, he was told "I don't know because I have just come on duty". At 6.15pm? With reference to the psychiatrist. We were told that my mother-in-law would be referred to a psychiatrist for the elderly 13 days ago. To our knowledge, a psychiatrist has still not been to do an assessment. How long does it take for a consultant who is based on this ward to make his/her way to my mother-in-law's bedside? With regard to the medical care, we have no idea what is going on. Conflicting reports from junior doctors and nursing staff are not helping here. I am absolutely fed up of this hospital. It failed to diagnose Motor Neurone Disease in my father 9 years ago, (along with Durham Hospital). It ruined my life 5 and a half years ago, by failing to make a simple diagnosis, which resulted in me having a permanent colostomy. Now it is making our lives a misery again, and in every case it boils down to one simple fact: the staff do not listen to the patients or to their relatives I wish my mother-in-law had never agreed to be admitted to this hospital. Waiting for something to happen, such as the psychiatrist to visit, is like watching paint dry! What a waste of NHS resources.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Hello, we're sorry to hear that you've been disappointed by some aspects of your relative's care, in particular the communication about their condition which doesn't sound up to the standard patients and relatives should expect from us. If you'd like us to look into these issues, please contacts our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on pals@ghnt.nhs.uk.

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