"On the whole, a very positive experience of the health service"

About: North Yorkshire and York PCT / District nursing St Helens Rehabilitation Hospital / Older people's healthcare York Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

Following a fall at home my elderly relative was admitted to the District Hospital. She had no serious problems and was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital for assessment. She was due to return home after a few weeks when she suddenly became very ill with a chest infection and was readmitted to the District Hospital. She remained there several weeks, before being transferred back to the rehabilitation hospital. Now, she is home again with carers visiting her 3 times a day and is doing well.

On the whole she and we have had a very positive experience of the health service. The carers are all amazing and, for the most part, the staff at the hospitals were great. There are just a few things we have been less impressed with.

1. Following a minor operation and prior to the fall she was suffering with leg ulcers [these were treated and cleared while she was in hospital]. In spite of district nurses visiting her daily to treat the ulcers there was no improvement - in fact the ulcers spread and became worse. The nurses often contradicted each other in what they said and did. Yet no doctor from the local surgery checked on her. No one from the surgery has visited her since she returned home. The carers have dealt with a few incidents, by telephoning her relatives and then the surgery. Following a call, on one occasion, a doctor did visit - one with no connection to the surgery or with information on mum's condition. We understand that GPs no longer need to visit patients at home, but when the patient is elderly and housebound and with relatives living between 30 minutes and 4 hours away .... we were especially concerned prior to her admittance to hospital.

2. Most of the hospital staff were wonderful, but there were 1 or 2 who, in mum's words, were 'rough' with her. She is frail and obviously was ill and in pain at the time of her stay, but she was definitely frightened of some staff members. Yes, she can be a bit difficult, but a different attitude and a bit of sympathy can work wonders.

3. Finally and trivial in comparison, she complained frequently of the food in the District Hospital [the food in the rehabilitation hospital was 'much better'] and visitors often took things in to supplement her diet.

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Response from York Hospital

Thank you for your posting. We do take comments made very seriously and we would like the opportunity to investigate the particular concerns you have raised around your elderly relative's experience whilst in hospital. Please contact our Patient Experience Team on 01904 725137 or e.mail patientexperienceteam@york.nhs.uk and we will investigate your concerns fully and report our findings back to you.

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