"Poor communication caused us real distress when my mum died"

About: Ashford Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My mum was seriously ill with heart problems, everytime she was seen by a different consultant.

We had a consultant see us at the weekend and explain to us there was nothing more they could do as my mum was not responding to the treatment so they said we would have to make a decision in the next couple of days.

When we arrived there the following day all the machines were stopped! No next of kin or family members were told! Then a nurse told us when we left the night before that a nurse was sent in to turn all machines off. My mum died just after we got there.

I believe the hospital have very poor communication and they should have phoned next of kin.

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Response from Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I am very sorry to hear of your distress over the way our staff communicated with you and your family. We do understand how important it is that staff keep family members informed, particularly if their relative’s condition is deteriorating, and it is disappointing to hear this did not happen on this occasion.

Without knowing the full details it is very difficult to comment specifically on the points you raise, particularly around the actions of our nursing staff. I would really welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss everything in detail. Please contact me directly on 01932 722812 or our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01932 723553.

Suzanne Rankin, Chief Nurse at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.