"Great care but soured at the end."

About: Western General Hospital / Radiotherapy Western General Hospital / Respiratory Medicine

(as a carer),

My partner was admitted to  Ward 54 in early 2018 very ill with advanced lung cancer and died from pneumonia there.   The doctors and nurses were all fabulous and his care was exceptional.   The following day after he passed, I went to collect his belongings to take them home, and after taking 3 days to muster up the courage to take them out of the car, I discovered that the clothes he had died in were stuffed inside.   Why don't the Wards ask if a)  you want the clothes that your loved one died in returned (or incinerated) and b) why don't they give families the option to pack up their loved one's  stuff into a suitcase or something instead of being thrust a bunch of blue plastic bugs.   It feels very insensitive, I feel as though the deceased person ceases to be a person and it made me feel part of a conveyor belt.   I know the wards are busy, you need the beds but there's no excuse.   Does the Western not  have a handover bag policy?   Some other hospitals do.     I can't say enough for how the staff cared for my partner but that really soured things at the end.

Responses

Response from Fiona Gaskell, Clinical Nurse Manager, Acute Medicine, NHS Lothian

First of all can I pass on my sincere condolences to you. I would like to apologise on behalf of the ward that this was your experience and I will discuss with the Senior Charge nurse of ward 54 the concerns that you have raised. Please do contact the NHS Lothian patient experience team if you would like the opportunity to meet with the Senior Charge nurse or myself so that we can work together to improve the way in which this is done. Once again please accept my sincere apologies.

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