"My father's recent overnight stay at QEQM hospital"

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital / Respiratory medicine

(as a relative),

Last week I received a message at work from my father to say his doctor had called an ambulance to take him to hospital as he suspected a blood clot on the lung (my father has asbestosis and had been coughing up blood).

I left work immediately and went to A&E at QEQM. I told the receptionist about my father and she said she had no record of his admittance so was probably not booked in yet - she would let me know when he was.

I waited for around 50 minutes but had heard nothing. I then spoke to the receptionist again. As there was still no record of him, she suddenly thought that perhaps he had been taken straight to a ward. He had in fact been taken straight to CDU.

He received excellent treatment whilst on the ward, undergoing several tests and was kept in overnight.

The next day I was unable to go to the hospital myself but my sister was going to see him instead. We then heard he was going to be coming out later that morning but had to be given some medication first.

When my sister arrived about 12:30 at the CDU she was told he had been discharged - she tried to call my father but could not get a signal.

Thinking he must have got a taxi, she went to his home (20 minutes drive away) but he was not there, and neither was my elderly mother. She then managed to contact my mother who had been brought to the hospital by a friend and found they were still waiting for the medication at the hospital.

My sister then returned to the hospital but didn't know what part they were in.

Eventually (15:00) she managed to track them down at the St Peter's Road entrance as this was nearest to the discharge unit, the other side of the hospital to CDU and where she had parked. As my father can only walk short distances, she had to move her car back to St Peter's Road.

At no time was there mention that my father had been taken to the discharge unit or where it was located. My father was not informed of the discharge procedure and that it would take so long once taken from CDU, and both he and my mother had not eaten since breakfast.

My point in writing this is to point out that a lack of communication exists that causes a lot unnecessary worry, as well as a frustrating waste of time, for patients and their carers. QEQM is a big hospital so clearer information would be a big improvement.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback, and I am very sorry that we failed to communicate effectively with you and your father about his transfer to the discharge lounge. I will ensure that staff on A&E and CDU are aware of the distress that this has caused you all.

We are planning to improve the involvement of patients and their families in planning the discharge arrangements including written communication about the discharge lounge. I am glad that you were happy with the care and treatment provided by staff on CDU.

If you would like to discuss your concerns more fully, please do email me on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net and I will arrange for you to speak with our Senior Matron at QEQM. I do hope your father continues to make a full recovery.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

We are disappointed to hear of the problems that your Father and family experienced whilst at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital. It is important that we listen to the views of our patients and would like to discuss your concerns further if possible with you. The contact details for the Patient Experience Team are ekh-tr.patientexperienceteam@nhs.net. When contacting us can you please provide your contact number to enable someone from the Patient Experience Team to call you back to discuss the best way forward with regard to your feedback . In the meantime your feedback will be logged onto our database and also fedback to the Matron for the CDU ward and to the Division under whose remit the ward falls to ensure that staff are fully aware and your comments can be used to improve services. We would like to offer our apologies to your parents and family with regard to your experience when you visited and hope that you feel able to contact us.

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