"A worrying time made worse by poor communication"

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Accident & Emergency Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / General Medicine Galloway Community Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as a relative),

My mother was found semi conscious at 7pm on an evening in mid-September in the bathroom area of her home in Drummore ( South West Scotland ). It was later estimated that she may have been lying on the floor since around 10am that morning.

The ambulance crew removed her to The Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer, where a team of excellent staff were waiting for her. Because of her history of Arrythmia and blood pressure problems her heart rate was monitored and was further provided high flow oxygen via trauma mask to help support her respiration. The nurse ( Andrea ) tending to my mother was both professional and very caring and excellent in dealing with our family members. My mother was moved later that night to Dumfries Royal Infirmary A&E and soon after to Ward 7.

As first thought in the GCH Stranraer, the GRI medical receiving doctor diagnosed the strong possibility that my mother had had a stroke. Having unfortunately arrived in the GRI late on Friday night, however, my mother situation was made worse by the fact that the hospital weekend phase was beginning and as we as relatives were to find out, this meant an exasperating "wait and see" period was underway; we had to "wait" to find out what was going to happen and quite bluntly couldn't "see" anything being done. The MRI scan which had been mooted early on Saturday simply didn't happen.

My mother just lay there all day Saturday and all day Sunday with very little physical treatment, connected to a Glucose drip through an alarm-sensitive pump that was mainly inoperable. This was a very worrying time for us as a family, made worse by poor communication ( the minimal communication that occurred was initiated by us, not the staff ).

Monday and a promised move to Ward 12 eventually happened. As yet no word of when the MRI scan, which should aid accurate diagnosis and speed up the appropriate treatment for my mother, will take place - or indeed if that will happen at all. We are, however, hopeful that mothers move to the Stroke Unit will mean more positive results and better communication.

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Response from Michaela Cannon, Patient Feedback and Complaints Co-ordinator, Patient Services, NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Dear RSH,

I am so sorry and disappointed to read of the experience you, your mother and your family have had. Thank you for bring your concerns to our attention and for your kind words regarding the staff at Galloway Community Hospital.

I appreciate that this is a very worrying time for you all and I would welcome the opportunity to look into your concerns in further detail. I would like to ensure that any questions you have in relation to your mother’s care are answered and that future communication with you as a family is improved.

I would be grateful if you could contact Patient Services on 01387 272733 or by email at Dumf-uhb.PatientServices@nhs.net to discuss your concerns further.

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