"Good nursing, poor information sharing"

About: Dorset County Hospital

I recently had a 2 night stay in Abbotsbury Ward, following admission via the A & E Dept. for a UTI. I was referred to A & E by my GP and was told I was expected by a specialist but instead was seen by several different nurses and junior doctors one of whom announced that they "didn't know what to do". Whilst on the treatment bed I noticed blood stains on the wall which we pointed out to staff.

Once on the ward I couldn't fault the standards of the nursing or cleaning staff and the food was good. I truly commend the nursing staff for the way in which they sympathetically dealt with a fellow patient who became very confused and spent one whole night wandering the ward.

The staff in the Endoscopy and Ultra sound departments were all very friendly and efficient as were all of the porters that I encountered.

There does seem to be a problem with communication between doctors, patients and other staff. For instance: when the team of doctors did their rounds in the mornings they talked to each other and then moved on with no attempt to involve or inform me. I was left to speak to the nursing staff who did not all have the relevant information regarding treatment, drugs or length of stay. I was impressed by one particular doctor (not mine) who visited their patient and proceeded to give him exact details of the cause of his problems and the options to fix them.

When I was discharged (hurriedly it felt) I was given medication but was not warned about how or when to take it and was quite ill for 24hrs due to taking one of the pills on an empty stomach (the information was in the small print but not on the pharmacy label).

I developed a problem after a couple of days (Sunday) and on phoning the ward was told I needed to contact the NHS 111 service. This I did and spent 14 minutes on hold before being sent to the treatment centre operating out of DCH where I was seen by a doctor who was able to check the medication I was on and recommend another course of action. It does seem that the best follow up outcome would have been achieved by being able to make direct contact with a member of the relevant team that was responsible for my care whilst in hospital.

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Response from Dorset County Hospital

Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay at Dorset County Hospital.

I am sorry to read about certain aspects of your care being below the standards I would expect.

I will share your feedback with the emergency department staff and pharmacy team to see how we can improve this going forward. I will also share your feedback on some of the Doctors poor communication with our Medical Director.

He will be very interested to read about your experience and discuss with his colleagues on how we can improve the situation for others.

The feedback of your care on Abbotsbury ward, ultrasound, endoscopy and the portering team in contrast was a delight to read and the staff will be so pleased to receive such a glowing report.

I am very grateful to you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive report and please be assured that we will act on all the feedback you have left to ensure that we improve the service and care we provide.

Best wishes, Alison Tong, Director of Nursing, Dorset County Hospital

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