"I lost my wife"

About: St Mary's Hospital / Gynaecology

(as a relative),

I dropped my wife at 12: 00 for a scheduled procedure under general anaesthetic. I had arranged that I would collect her and be with her post -procedure. I expected to collect her at around 3: 00pm.

I had a text from my wife at 3: 50 saying she had seen a doctor but was still waiting. I heard nothing more so I expected now to get a call to collect her no later than 6: 00pm.

I waited until 8: 30. I then tried to call the Mary Stanford 4th Floor Day Surgery Unit but only encountered a recorded message. I then spent the next 90mins trying to locate her. I made a dozen calls most of the choices offered by the automated system resulting in dead ends.

I called the main switchboard and explained I had lost my wife and I was directed to A&E. The person who answered said that they were surprised I had beed directed there and suggested I look up the names of the Urology wards on the internet and call them directly. I did this and there was no answer.

I called the switchboard again and this time the operator paged a site manager. I spoke with a duty manager. He took my number and called me back saying he couldn't find her either. I was deeply concerned at this point as were our children.

As I was talking to the manager my wife texted me (21: 17). I asked her where she was and she answered she didn't know and there was no-one in the vicinity to ask. She was very groggy. After a few more texts my wife said she thought she had seen a sign with Lillian on it. I searched the internet and found the Lillian Holland ward.

After several attempts I spoke to a nurse on the ward and she confirmed that my wife was indeed on the ward. I asked why no-one had informed me that she had been admitted and where she was. The nurse said it wasn't her responsibility and the dept that undertook the surgery should have informed me.

As the next of kin and the person nominated to be informed of my wife's whereabouts and condition I find this unacceptable. I had to find her. If I hadn't and she had no personal phone when would I have learnt of her situation? This caused both me and my children anxiety and stress. I don't think this is a good example of the respect or care or pride which are three of your Trust's core values.

I am in communication with PALS.

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Response from Guy Young, Deputy Director of Patient Experience, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Please accept my apologies for the poor experience you had and for the distress it caused you and your family. Not the sort of expereince we would want our patients and thier families to have at all.

I note from your post that you are in contact with our PALS team already and I am confident they are the best people to help resolve your concerns.

Thank you for telling us about your expereince.

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