"Lack of communication on all counts"

About: Conquest Hospital

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My mother in law who is 92 years of age went to the Acute Assessment Unit following a referral by the GP surgery.

We arrived for the appointment at 10am Tuesday and we were expecting her to have a Colonoscopy. It turned out to be an assessment rather than a Colonoscopy but the consultant realized that some treatment was required and admitted her. We were both happy about that.

During the assessment and after being admitted to the Baird Ward all the staff were fantastic and so kind to my mother in law.

We could both understand all the treatment that was necessary and that was explained to us clearly.

I was asked to ring in today to be told what the next stage in her care would be. I phoned and I spoke to a nurse (the first person I spoke to said that they would bring a nurse to the phone). I found it difficult to understand her and had to ask her to repeat things. I got all the information I needed and clarified what was said. I was advised she would be in a further night and have a Colonoscopy tomorrow.

This afternoon a friend who was visiting my mother in law phoned me to say my mother in law was in a bit of a state saying she was being discharged today and asked if this was right. She also was aware she was staying overnight and having the Colonoscopy tomorrow. I phoned the Conquest and spoke to the same nurse who initially denied saying earlier that mother in law was staying in a further night and having the Colonoscopy tomorrow. She confirmed she was being discharged today.

I was upset and expressed my concern and made it clear to the nurse that she told me something different in the morning. I felt that she was implying that I had got the earlier message wrong. She did say that I could pick her up anytime but she would need some medication before discharge.

We went and picked mother in law up. I went to the ward and told the nurse at the desk why we were there and the nurse just nodded her head in the direction of where mother in law was and directed me to the area to go in. There was no communication at all regarding the process of discharge. I realized that this nurse was the same person I spoke to twice on the phone – I recognized the voice.

Realising my mother had not had the medication that was necessary before discharge I went to the Nurse and asked about it. She went to get the doctor regarding the medication. The medication was given eventually.

I asked for a feedback form and was directed to an iPad on the desk. It would not turn on and no-one I asked knew how to operate it and advise me. I got annoyed and asked if this was the only method of leaving feedback. I was told it was and raised the point that most of the patients were elderly and probably not versed in modern technology and was surprised the staff did not know how to help. Eventually a young member of staff came over and sorted it out . I need to contact the doctor tomorrow to find out what is happening

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Response from Conquest Hospital

We're very sorry to hear about your (and your mother in laws) experience at the Conquest Hospital. As a Trust we are committed to giving the highest quality of care to our patients. We're therefore concerned to read your comments and would like an opportunity to discuss what happened more fully and to apologise in person for the fact that your experience was poor. We would appreciate it if you would be willing to contact the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01424 758090 (or by email on PALSH@esht.nhs.uk). In the meantime we will ensure your comments are passed onto the ward matron.

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