"Seriously Poor Communication"

About: Freeman Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My husband had a lobectomy almost two weeks ago, and so far I have been unable to find out what the surgeon found. I find this utterly shocking. He has now been in hospital for 12 days, and still I have no idea what they found, I tried to ask the surgeon, but he said he didn't know, what utter rubbish. I am aware that the tumor was sent for hystology, but the surgeon failled to understand that I was asking for a description of what he found, location, size, presentation of the tumor, these things he should know, I was not asking for a diagnosis. I tried many times to explain to the surgeon that I was not asking for a diagnosis, but a description of what he saw during surgery.

I asked my husband what the surgeon said, and he says, I don't know, they don't tell me anything. My husband said all he knew was from listening to the whispers at the bottom of his bed.

The problem is my husband has what appears to be multiple infections, he has a high temperature, high pulse and is dehydrated, all these things make it difficult for him to communicate effectively, he is very weak and poorly.

I tried to find out what infections my husband has and the surgeon said he didn't know, but that he suspected a wound infection. The staff on the ward have been taking frequent wound swabs, bloods, and various samples on a daily basis. Some samples were cultured before the antibiotic Invanz was perscribed. The surgeon must have identified the infection before perscribing the antibiotic.

Today my husband had another operation, but the staff on the ward failled to contact me, so I had no idea that he was to have additional surgery. What is going on at this hospital, why was I not informed? Every time I leave the ward I ask the staff to keep me up to date with my husbands condition and tell them to call me any time day or night. (My husband is extremely poorly. ) I just happened to be at the hospital because I had an appointment to discuss my husbands condition with his surgeon, when a trolley came to take my husband to theater.

This second operation my husband had was a double procedure, with two different surgeons operating on him at the same time. I've been given information about 1 of the procedures, but not the other. It's totally crazy, my husband is not able to tell me himself as he is so very poorly and is hardly speaking, he just sleeps all the time. My husband is so poorly at present that he is in ICU.

The lack of communication and inability of medical and nuring staff (who failled to inform me my husband was going to theater) to keep relatives informed is shocking.

The care from nursing staff has been amazingly good, but the communication from the medical teams involved in my husbands care has been shocking.

Unfortunately, my husband is still extremely poorly in ICU, and I am still waiting for answers!

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Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on Patient Opinion about your husband’s care in the Freeman Hospital. The team within the Cardiothoracic Centre aim to provide the highest quality of care to patients and their families at all times and it is very disappointing to hear that you felt the communication about your husband’s treatment was lacking.

As your review mentions that your husband is still in the hospital, we would be grateful if you could speak to the nurse in charge of the ward when you next visit. Alternatvely you can ask to speak to Matron Guthrie or telephone her via the hospital switchboard on 0191 2336161.

With your husband’s permission, we will arrange to provide you with a detailed update on his plan of care. If you remain dissatisfied with the communication that you receive, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Relations Department 0191 233 6161 or via email at patient.relations@nuth.nhs.uk with your details and we will look into your concerns in more detail.