"Communication regarding discharge of an elderly patient"

About: Hairmyres Hospital / Emergency department

(as a relative),

My elderly father was admitted to Hairmyres Hospital after attending an Out of Hours clinic. Admission and subsequent care during the time he spent in hospital were very good. However on Monday, when I phoned to ask how he was, I was informed he had been discharged from the ward earlier that day. I expressed my concern that I, as his next of kin, had not received a call and I was extremely annoyed and anxious. The person I spoke to apologised and said someone should have phoned me. I was fortunate to get away from work and arrived to collect him later but was distressed to find him sitting in a dark, dismal discharge lounge with no natural light. The staff there were very helpful but he had been sitting there almost 5 hours after being discharged from the ward. Apparently there was a problem with his medication, which added to the delay. I appreciate the pharmacy is very busy and has to provide for numerous different kinds of medication for the whole hospital and I know that wards have targets to meet in the treatment of patients, but to discharge an elderly, clearly frail man and 'dump' him in an uncomfortable waiting room is hardly acceptable and very disappointing.

He had been in Wishaw General in the Endoscopy unit and the treatment was second to none. In Hairmyres, the treatment and care were also very good, but communication and discharge most certainly need some attention.

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Response from Lise Axford, Senior Nurse, Emergency Medicine, Hairmyres Hospital

picture of Lise Axford

Dear Kinghorn

Thank you for sharing your recent experience and I am sorry to read your concerns in relation to your father's discharge. I apologise that you were not contacted to discuss your father's discharge plan and that he waited a lengthy period of time for his prescription.

I would like to reassure you that the discharge lounge is a dedicated area utilised to support patients transitioning from the ward area to discharge home. Staff provide ongoing care and facilitate discharge prescriptions. Further to your comments, I will review the area and work with the team to see if there can be improvements made to the environment.

I would like to look into the concerns that you have raised further and therefore would appreciate if you could contact Christine McNeill our Patient Affairs Manager on 01355 585325, with more information.

I hope your father is recovering well.

Thank you for contacting

Best wishes


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