"Not kept informed about my father's care"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

My father was admitted to North Devon District Hospital a week ago with a broken arm and had surgery. Nobody bothered to contact me, the next of kin, and when I finally managed to speak to the staff nurse I asked her how SHE would feel in my position, she retorted that she would not speak to me because I was upset and slammed the phone down on me. What makes it worse is that this is not the first time this has happened.

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Response from Katherine Allen, Deputy Director of Strategy and Transformation, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear TapWhizz

I am really sorry to hear that you and your father didn't receive the standard of communication that we would expect. I was particularly concerned to hear that this seems to have happened before.

We really want to know more about this so we can improve the service for you and others in future. If you want to discuss this, please call our patient advice and liaison service on 01271 314 090.

Kind regards


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Update posted by TapWhizz (a relative)

Dear Katherine

Thank you for your response.

I have spoken to a lady in Customer Services who shunted me on to her boss and only earlier today stonewalled me when I telephoned her. I have complained to this person's boss, who I felt also attempted to palm me off to another department but I explained that I have spent the last 5 years of my life exhausting every avenue possible to try to make life easier for my father and that it was up to them to deal with my complaint.

In my Opinion, when some of the staff at North Devon District Hospital staff don't like what is said they simply accuse one of 'shouting' and slam the phone down!!! I would like to stress that the staff I have spoken to recently are simply a reflection of similar experiences I have had over the years with North Devon District Hospital. It is my belief that these staff members are a product of an uncaring system and that it would be unfair to single them out, although on this occasion their behaviour led to my complaints. The facts are that my father has fallen over and broken more bones than I can remember since 2005. He ends up at North Devon District Hospital who patch him up and then send him off somewhere to recuperate. Despite the fact that he can barely walk, he is then usually sent home where the whole process repeats itself. On one occasion the emergency services had to break into his home to retrieve him and yet NOBODY from either the hospital or emergency services thought to contact me leaving his home insecure with all the associated problems that that threw up.

I leave the matter in your hands for you to address the matters of bad (in my opinion, non-existent) communication and appalling behaviour of some of your staff.