"Left waiting for 7 hrs for a bed - for planned..."

About: The Royal London Hospital

I am writing this on behalf of my mother who has dementia:

A list of failings (so far):

My Mother needed to be admitted for a colonoscopy as with her dementia she could not

comply with dietary preparation. This was arranged by the Validation team.

The person who did this initially was very efficient and I was able at first to contact her easily. However just prior to admission the number I has been able to contact her on (I tried several times) went through to a different department, and no one on the switchboard had her name.

So prior to Mum;s admission I contacted the relevant surgical team explaining that despite requesting all letters be sent to me rather than my Mother they continued to be sent to my Mother who either lost them or could not relay them properly and I needed to know if there was anything I needed to know to help things go smoothly (and that I live 700 miles away).

I was given the time, date and ward (D13) for admission and told I had to book transport, but that was all.

I did this and arranged for Mum's carer to be with her.

I was not given any other procedural information.

Transport took Mum and her carer to the ward for 2pm.

I was in contact with her carer who told me they were waiting for a bed.

I contacted ward staff who at first said we should have checked bed availability prior to going to the hospital and they were still waiting for a bed.

After 2 hours when I called again Mum was still waiting with her carer.

I was now getting concerned as this would have distressed Mum and I knew Mum's carer had to go home to her children.

I called again and spoke to the ward manager and was now told Mum should not have been on this ward.

It was now 5pm.

Just after 6pm I was contacted by the ward manager who said it would be another 2 hrs but they would then have a bed for my Mum. I called the ward again at 8.45 and was informed Mum had just been taken to ward 3F. I tried to call ward 3F to check on Mum but no one was answering the phone.

So my Mother, with dementia and not in great physical health was waiting for almost 7 hrs for a planned admission.

Being told that I had to book transport and then being told I should have checked bed availability makes no sense.

Transport has to be booked for a specific time (the appointment time) as far as I was aware and I was not told otherwise.

The administration of Mum's admission has been overall very badly organised and distressing for Mum, me and her carer.

More attention to detail of admission of patients with dementia.

Please note that my ratings (so far) have been mainly about the admissions process failure.

I will post again if there are further issues.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Royal London Hospital

We are very sorry to read of yours and your mothers experience during her admission for her colonoscopy. This must have been very upsetting and distressing for you both. Please accept our apologies for this. To discuss the concerns you have raised here further, please contact our PALS Team on 020 3594 2040 or by email pals@bartshealth.nhs.uk

If there are any further concerns with your mothers care please do ask to speak to the nurse in charge so that we are able to address these straight away.

Kind regards

Barts Health NHS Trust

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