"Treatment of my sister in law"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My sister in law was admitted to A&E at Redhilll at Easter, this arose as she became ill on a journey back to London from Brighton. Her underlying condition was S4 ovarian cancer and metastases for which she was receiving treatment at UCL on London. She died in May after all efforts at treatment.

Let me say that we are not seeking redress of any kind from your Trust. Nor do we feel that medical intervention at Redhill would have changed the end result.

We are though, of the view that her care in the A&E was slow and poor, a diagnosis being given of vertigo to explain the signs of what if fact had been a stroke caused by side effects on the blood chemistry from chemo, her medical background having been explained.

Bloods were taken but the doctors, both very young, and the Sister in charge were unwilling to share the results with us. or let us take the results home to show her GP. I was told that the GP would be able to access the results on line, something he later said he could not. do.

Basically, we feel that the level of expertise available on this day, notwithstanding it was a bank holiday, was below that to be reasonably expected and perhaps you might look into things to see how the next patient arriving in similar circumstances might be better helped.

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Jimm

I am very sorry to hear about your sister in law's death, and I am also sorry to hear that your experience in our emergency department was not as efficient as you would expect. I am talking to colleagues in ED to see if I can offer you any explanation. I am sorry that this will do little to lessen your grief, but I hope we can at the very least assure you that your sister in law was treated appropriately, albeit not to the service standards you rightly expect.


Communications Manager

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'Jimm'

I have spoken to the Lead Consultant in our Emergency Department and he too is disappointed to read about your late sister in law's experience. I'm sure you can appreciate that it isn't always easy to comment on specific experiences because of the passage of time and the anonymity make it difficult to gather evidence. However, talking more generally, since your visit we have gone from four to seven consultants, and the number and grade of other doctors and nursing staff has significantly increased. The department has also undergone extensive refurbishment and the whole atmosphere within the department has changed. I know this information will do little to lessen your grief or disappointment about the poor experience your sister-in-law sadly received, but I do hope it goes to show that we took on board the comments we received at that time and we did something about it. Hopefully you and your family will never need to visit our ED again, but should you need emergency care and you are in this area I hope you can be reassured that the level of care you will receive here is as good as anywhere else.

I appreciate this response might not satisfy your concerns about the specifics of your sister in law's experience, so please, if you feel you would like to talk more about this, contact our PALS team on pals@sash.nhs.uk or call 01737 768511 and ask for the Patient Advice and Liaison Team.

Thank you for sharing your comments,

Eloise Clarke

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