"Disrespect towards relatives and poor service"

About: Worcestershire Royal Hospital

As the closest living relative of an elderly person who cannot communicate after a stroke, I was contacted by paramedics after a call out to Worcs Care Services, so that they could ask me questions to assist. Paramedics recommended a check-up at the Worcs Royal and told me to contact the hospital for updates, as I live 150 miles away.

This I did, despite some challenges getting through and have also been called back by the hospital. I have spoken with staff in the 3 wards involved and until today, have experienced no problems, when I was informed that I could not be updated due to confidentiality, first by a nurse and after speaking with a Doctor who was happy to speak with me initially, passing me over to the nurse for an update, came back saying the nurse couldn’t, due to confidentially issues.

I called reception to ask to speak with the head of the ward, but reception did not know who that was and put me through to the ward who failed to put me through to the head.

Surely when I am on the list as a point of contact, know the DOB, home address, carers and all manner of data about my relative, it is clear that I am who I say I am. Why on earth would anyone impersonate me?

It is detrimental for my relative to be denied this vital connection and exchange of information with me, especially since carers have told me that he cannot sleep due to noise on the ward, cannot eat and is not being kept mobile. I have been told that all the checks were fine, yet a discharge is not forthcoming. This means, according to carers that there is a question of him going downhill fast if not availed of home comforts forthwith, freedom to move around and sleep properly. Depression is setting in.

It’s been a stressful time for him, who on being admitted first to A & E, was left for many hours, not offered a drink, and was not asked at any time if a toilet was needed, which was essential. When a carer arrived, they were shocked at this level of neglect which is inhumane and cruel. It is hard to conceive that anyone should be left in this state, especially someone who is elderly, vulnerable and after a fall. It seems that there are no proper procedures in place or coherent effort to make sure the vital needs of patients are regularly monitored.

Naturally I have been concerned and need to know what is happening.

It is not only bureaucracy gone mad to say that due to procedures, information is withheld from me, but disrespectful and insensitive. I would point out that on other occasions when I have visited this hospital, no ID checks were made.

It’s ludicrous to refuse to update a relative on the phone therefore. This is unhelpful and demonstrates a lack of common-sense and reason.

This hospital has a status of ‘inadequate’ and rated unsafe by the C. Q. C. which makes it all the more vital that I am updated.

So far, my experience supports the rating.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Worcestershire Royal Hospital

Thank you for leaving your comments. I am sorry to hear of your experience and your relatives; this must have been very distressing especially during a difficult time. We are concerned with the issues you have raised. Please contact our PALS team on 0300 123 1733 or by email wah-tr.PET@nhs.net to speak to someone further about this as they can look into the issues you have raised and can provide support and a friendly listening ear.

Kind Regards

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