"Very variable care"

About: Princess Royal Hospital (Haywards Heath)

My 86 year-old father spent some time in Twineham and Balcombe wards in September-October 2015 and was in Hurstpierpoint ward November-December. Twineham and Balcombe were well run and communication was good. My father's discharge was well organised, in consultation with the family. Hurstpierpoint was by contrast chaotic. Communication was very bad and discharge arrangements were left entirely to me, although I found this out only by chance. I had been told I would be contacted by a social worker and by the palliative care team, neither of whom contacted me. It turned out that this was because were trying to contact me at my father's address. I had told the ward on three separate occasions that I live in London, providing my home and mobile numbers, but the information was somehow never retained. On the day I finalised my father's move to the hospice I was told off by a ward sister in the main corridor of the ward on the grounds that I lived locally and was inappropriately insisting that my father should come home to live with me, thereby delaying his discharge to a more appropriate place. When I finally managed to get them to understand that I had arranged for him to go into the hospice, they became less aggressive, but did not apologise for having a go at me in such a public way on totally spurious grounds. I could say more, but this doesn't seem like the right place.

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Response from Princess Royal Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to feedback your experiences at Princess Royal and I am delighted that your father experience well co-ordinated care and you recieved good communication on Balcombe and Twineham wards. However, the lack of communication that impacted so negatively on you and your, father that you experienced on Hurstpeirpoint is unacceptable and I can only apologise as this falls far below standards that I would expect. I have shared your comments with the matron and ward manager on Hurstpeirpoint, so that they can learn and change as a result of this. If you wish to discuss this further please either contact me caroline.davies@bsuh.nhs.uk or contact PALS on 01444 448678.

Best wishes

Caroline Davies

Deputy Chief Nurse

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