"Superb nursing, very poor communication"

About: Watford General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My 90 year old mother, who is bedridden following damage to her spine after a fall and appears to be suffering from dementia, has received superb nursing. All who have been involved with looking after her have been professional, kind, helpful and patient.

My one note of criticism is that in three weeks neither my sister or I, who hold 'Power of Attorney' for her 'health and welfare', have yet to hear from a doctor.

At least one family member visits mum daily - a doctor involved in mum's treatment has never been available and 'promises' from nurses or social workers that they will ask a doctor to phone us produce no result! Nurses and Social Workers in the hospital seem as frustrated as us in getting doctors to contact us!

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Response from Mark Jarvis, Associate Director, Patient Experience and Feedback, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank your for your feedback on the services provided to your mother. I am pleased that the care provided by the nursing staff has been professional, kind, helpful and patient.

However, I am disappointed that communication with medical staff has been unsatisfactory. It would be helpful to have a few more details about which ward your mother is on so that I can raise your concerns directly with the consultant looking after her.

If you would like to contact me directly either by phone or email I would be happy to address this issue further. My direct telephone number is 01923 436272 and my email is mark.jarvis@whht.nhs.uk

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Response from Watford General Hospital

Thank you for taking the trouble and time to comment on your mother’s experience at Watford General to date. We're delighted to hear that you have been so impressed with the standard of our nursing care. On your points raised on communication and speaking to a doctor, without full details of your mother’s specific case and our commitment to patient confidentiality it is difficult to comment here. But the importance of a wholly positive patient experience is one of our key objectives. The Trust is fully committed to ensuring that all of our patients and their relatives have the right to be treated with respect and be communicated to in the right way. We sincerely apologise that you feel that this is not happening in your case. In order to resolve your concerns, our senior clinical colleagues would like to investigate this issue thoroughly. Could you please contact us directly through the Trust’s Complaints Team at wherts-tr.complaintsteam@nhs.net and we would be happy to provide a detailed response.

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