"Unacceptable delay in getting medication from..."

About: Whiston Hospital

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My dad was told to go to 1B after being seen by an on call GP.

Nurse on 1B seemed put out that he hadn't been to Whiston before and lived out of the area and it would take time to trace him on the computer. In her defence, there did seem to be a shortage of staff on the ward.

Junior doctor at first said he couldn't understand why dad had been referred by GP . I felt I had to speak up for my dad as he wasn't giving the doctor the full details and the doctor wasn't delving into dad's responses given that he was 84 years old.

I went through all his symptoms and then the doctor said dad would have a chest x ray and blood tests.

Junior doctor returned and said that the blood tests had come back and he would be admitted. This was after consultation with a registrar.

Treatment was very good from that point and dad had gallstones flushed out 3 days later.

The problem arose on discharge as we were told to ring at 5.30pm to see if medication had been received from Pharmacy so we could return for it. I rang numerous times and eventually at 8.00pm was told to ring the next day. This meant that dad did not have his heart tablet and aspirin for the following morning and the staff nurse didn't seem bothered by this.

Despite calling several times the following morning, the staff did not answer the phone and in the end my dad was driven by his grandson to Whiston.

They were then told that the medication had gone to the wrong ward the day before!!

Moral of the story is that patients should not be discharged without their medication as staff seem to forget they exist once they are not their responsibility. Pharmacy would be more efficient if the emptying of a bed depended on them.

Story from NHS Choices

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