"Kind staff but chaos at the weekend - very..."

About: Royal United Hospital

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Having waited in A&E for over 10 hours on Sun 7 April my mother was finally admitted (but only into MAU not a proper bed) at 1am on Mon morning. The kindness of the staff in dealing with her was not at all an issue - they handled her very compassionately - but we were kept in two separate rooms whilst she waited to be assessed without any information at all being given about what was going on. It was a bit like being in an airport where a flight is delayed and no-one bothers to let you know what is happening or likely length of delay or where you can get any food/drink etc and there did seem to be a lot of staff just standing around the central islands. It also appeared that because the staff were used to seeing lots of dementia patients they were completely oblivious to the impact that was having on the other patients, some of whom were very ill and clearly distressed by their behaviour e.g. shouting out all night and, in one sad case, a man running around the ward in only his underwear - which basically meant no sleep at all for anyone else. Having seen this at first hand, I now think a hospital is the very worst place to be when you are ill!

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Response from Royal United Hospital

Thank you for taking time to post an account of your experiences at the RUH. We are pleased that our staff treated your mother with the kindness and compassion we would expect all our patients to receive. However we are sorry to hear that overall we didn't provide your mother with the high standards of care we strive to give. We have experienced unprecedented levels of demand in emergency admissions over recent weeks and many of our older patients do suffer from dementia to one degree or another which often makes the ward or emergency department environment even more stressful. We will take on board your comments and try to ensure we review our practices in these areas.

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