"Attitude not comforting or supportive"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital

(as a relative),

Following a long month of my dad being unwell and an excellent stay in ward B23, we looked for help and advice from our GP. We Arrived at CDU after receiving excellent family centred care at home from our GP. The Staff in CDU were very abrupt and quick to put relatives out of the unit and into the waiting room, advising it would be a 4-6 hour wait. This is extremely inappropriate when you are worried about your family member. You are left in a waiting room with no idea what is happening to your loved one. As a nurse myself I understand the reasons behind this but I strongly believe at a stressful time when you seek medical help you need a relative with you. It would be understandable to restrict this to 1 relative per patient but I think to leave a patient sitting alone is completely ridiculous. 

My dad was disorientated and confused so I was worried he forgot information or got mixed up. When my dad phoned me to pick him up I returned to the unit to get a mixed up story of what was happening due to his confusion. I then had to confirm with the doctor what medication he was on and what his plan of care was. We then heard the clerk asking if he was fasted for his ultrasound which we knew nothing about. When asking nursing staff their attitude was not the slightest comforting or supportive. I understand staff are under a lot of pressure and stress but care and compassion should always remain the most important factor. We were then told he was to come back early the next morning for the ultrasound and when I advised the nurse that nobody could get him there and he can’t drive due to his current health we were told ‘that was something we would just have to figure out’. He was then given a prescription for the same antibiotics he was on, which weren’t helping. 

I feel the patient journey would have been a lot smoother if a relative was able to stay as then we would have a clearer idea of what was happening. If the patient is happy for a relative to be present with them then medical/nursing staff should have no issues. I understand issues with space etc, but patient care should be paramount.  I felt some of the staff should try not to be so upsetting towards family members. As a worried daughter I left the unit extremely upset and unsatisfied.


Response from Fiona Coan, Senior Charge Nurse, AAU & CAU, NHS Forth Valley

Dear EML17

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch, I was disappointed hear experience that this was your experience of our unit, I can only imagine how anxious and distressing this would have been for you all, please accept my apologies that this was your experience.

Unfortunately our policy, because it is a very busy admissions unit with limited space, is to ask relatives to have a seat outside. Most recently we have asked our medical staff to bring families in on the consultations to help alleviate any worries/ concerns they may have but also as a way of information sharing if that is appropriate person dependant.

I would like to assure you that I will share this experience with all staff to help show how we have an impact on peoples lives, and something this can be portrayed as unhelpful to patients and families.

We value very much this feedback as we strive to do the best by patients and families and need to hear when we get it wrong so I appreciate you taking the time to share this and I will continue to discuss this with our team to continue to improve on patient centred care.

Fiona Coan

Senior Charge Nurse

Acute Assessment Unit/Clinical Assessment Unit

Forth Valley Royal Hospital

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