"Don't have a stroke on a Thursday"

About: Kent & Sussex Hospital / Accident and emergency Kent & Sussex Hospital / Neurology

(as a relative),

My father aged 95 had a TIA on a Thursday morning. I acted fast as the adverts about strokes tell us to do. The ambulance staff were fantastic. We waited a couple of hours in K&S A&E and were never seen by a triage nurse. After nearly seven hours my father was admitted to the acute observation ward. He was put into bed and ordered to have IV fluids. He was sent up (in his bed – which I believe is one of the biggest carriers of disease) to his ward. Most patients seem to me to be transported between wards like this. His cannula for IV was hurting and he pulled it out. The next day his fluid chart showed that he had had 250 mlitres of coffee (you don't actually put coffee into a cannula!)

No-one ever checked later on how much fluid he was taking in by mouth – I think surely that was important as he was supposed to be on IV fluid. He was referred to the stroke team (all stroke patients should be seen by the stroke team within 24 hours of admission according to NHS guidelines). He was not assessed by the stroke team until Monday morning -84 hours after admission. The nursing staff on the ward told me he was under a certain consultant - he was actually under a different consultant because he is over 85 and I believe some of the staff on the ward did not know this until I told them. He was eventually seen by the right consultant and the stroke team and his notes stated that after a couple more tests he would be ok to come home on Tuesday.

On Tuesday the ward were not aware of this - one of the medical team was asked to come and see him before discharge but did not have time. It turned out that he had not had a simple blood test which had been ordered on Monday and could/should have been done Tuesday and now has to take up a bed in the ward for another night until it is done on Wednesday. What a dreadful waste of resources – and I believe this hospital is short of beds. In my opinion communication has been appalling.

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