"Attention to detail and family centred care required"

About: East Surrey Hospital South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

My mother had orthopaedic surgery following hip fracture last week. Initially doing quite well for first couple post op days, then became unresponsive, and extremely poorly. Staff nurse on ward did not seem to react to my siblings' concerns that she was not her usual self, or my question about the response of ward staff to her rising EWS score.

Since then, there has been small things that I would call 'attention to detail' or 'good basic nursing care', e. g. leaving ECG leads on attached to 24hr monitor when the recording has been completed hours beforehand, removing NBM sign once she can take clear fluids, and there being unclarity by nurses about whether she can drink or not? , replacing her hearing aid in one of her ears (we found it on her locker eventually), good mouth care, ensuring the IV line is resited asap, involvement of critical care nursing outreach team etc.

The Sisters and Ward Manager on Newdigate ward are phenomenal, but the staff nurses seem busy and less able to provide what I should call family centred care for a, I shall admit, large family. I appreciate it is difficult to support relatives and family members but my Mother is very poorly and the feeling that we are 'being looked after' as well, to even a small extent would go a very long way.

I am a nurse and the eldest of my siblings and have tried to guide them through what is happening and explain that the ward is busy and other patients and relatives need to be considered. I have told them in no uncertain terms that it is a ward and not our home sitting room!

Things that would be helpful:

-a response by Management if a ward is short of staff and ensuring there are adaquate staff to allow full and complete nursing care

-volunteers or others who can give time for relatives and friends to talk, and direct them to the canteen, chapel etc

-an area other than the canteen or ward where familes can sit quietly or be spoken to by the nursing and medical staff in confidence

-training for ward staff in dealing with grieving families and their reactions, so that if relatives appear angry, questioning, defensive, they are cared for and approached appropriately

-that nurses and nursing staff listen to family members when they say that the patient is not 'right' and do not seem to dismiss the concern even if they do ultimately act on it.

We know about PALs and may chat through our feelings with them.

I know I may writing this at an emotional time for me, and my Mother is being cared for. It's just that I am measuring that care by my own standards of having been a nurse for 34 years and I appreciate this opportunity to be able to tell the story as it is at the moment.

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


Thank you for your very useful comments. Our Divisional Chief Nurse - Jamie Moore, would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your mother's care if you would like to discuss it further. Can you please contact Jamie on jamie.moore@sash.nhs.uk or 07920278962 to pass on your contact details.

If you have trouble reaching Jamie, please contact me on eloise.clarke@sash.nhs.uk



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