"Poor communication and service between hospital and GP"

About: Harefield Hospital Harrow PCT Northwick Park Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My Mum is 63, she lives on her own with no family nearby who can help. She had two attacks in two months, she is very lucky to have been alive. In her recent Follow up at Harefield hospital she was seen by a consultant. He wrote a letter to the Gp advising of medicines that she should be on. With a recommendation of Fluosemide, this was at the end of June.

Since then she had raise the issue of her swollen legs and pain to the Gp, nothing was done and no medicines prescribed. I and my husband are visiting her, and she mentioned her leg, and I noticed it looked infected and red. I arranged for her to go to Burnt Oak medical centre, where she was seen on last weekend and given antibiotics. Today my sister spoke with the practice manager, asked whether the letter dated from June was received from Harefield hospital. They confirmed they had not. My sister and I have now had to write a letter on my Mums behalf and photocopy the original letter with the request that this medicine be prescribed.

The additional problem my Mum is facing is that the medicines requested by Harefield are not being prescribed on time, leaving my Mum without medicines for two to three days at a time. The doctor only issues medicines for 1 month / w28 days and not two months. She relies on the Gp to follow instructions/ requests from Harefield and the pharmacist to collect the medicines and deliver them to her.

As a 63 yr old pensioner with no car, limited human contact and high level of anxiety, she is left feeling that her healthcare providers do not believe her symptoms warrant treatment, deny receiving communications from Harefield hospital and is left suffering without the required medicines because of this lack of communication between both hospital, Gp and pharmacist. Writing letters, and talking on the telephone is fine, albeit time consuming, leaving my Mum to do the chasing and proving copies of letters, prescriptions and catching buses and waiting in Gp surgeries.

The surgery staff do not appear to consider her circumstances in a compassionate manner, and overall her healthcare providers at the surgery continue to play the blame game when it comes to letters that have been sent from Harefield hospital. What can be done to improve this situation?

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Response from Patient care, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

We were very sorry to hear about this apparent confusion with correspondence. We pride ourselves in providing a high standard of care and it is disappointing to hear of your experience.

We would like to act on this issue promptly. If you would be prepared to contact our PALS team on: 01895 826 572 or pals@rbht.nhs.uk, they would be pleased to hear further details and act upon your feedback. We are always keen to listen to the experiences of our patients and carers so we can improve our services.

Thank you.