"Very worried about poor communication"

About: Pilgrim Hospital

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My mum (who's 70) was taken by ambulance to Pilgrim A&E after fainting at work knocking herself out and suffering a concussion this was about 14.00pm on Monday 3rd June. The ambulance team were fantastic, when we arrived at A&E there was a bit of a back log, when she did get seen the nurse that took bloods and conducted ECG was again very pleasant and efficient. She was then moved to a cubicle and eventually a pleasant doctor came to look her they said she would need x-rays to her shoulder and finger and also a CT scan, they also mentioned that she had a heart condition. We explained my mum had never had a heart condition and they said she had a right bundle blockage they said they would explain things in more detail once all the bloods and x-ray results were back. Mum was still in pain as she had been given no pain relief up to this point, I was told this was because of the bang to her head. We continued to wait and a nurse did come and administer pain relief. At 18.30 we were still waiting for x-rays and CT scam during this time no cup of tea, no checks to see if she needed the loo. After scans she was moved to a holding ward/overflow area, the nurses were very pleasant but obviosly understaffed at 21.00 we were still waiting for results I asked a nurse if my mum could have a drink, this was the first one she was given since arriving. It also became apparent that they had no notes for my mum. At approx 22.00 I asked the nurse to phone to see if a doctor could come and decide if she could come home. We were told they had multiple traumas in A&E, I continued to wait until approx 23.45 then left as we had to drive back to Skegness. Mum told me a doctor did come after we left and told her she had broken her shoulder but could leave, she told them she wasn't happy leaving now her family had gone and would stay until the morning. I arrived back at the hospital at 9.00 the next morning, mum had asked for pain relief but couldn't have any as there were no notes and they weren't sure what she'd had. I asked about the heart problem they had picked up but the nurses weren't aware there was and issue (no notes). They arranged for an ECG a doctor came and said mum had broken her shoulder and the other x-rays and CT scan were fine they explained a bit about the heart condition and indicated it was faily common so OK. Tuesday I took her to the fracture clinic and was relieved to find the break she had been told she had, she didn't! The hospital team on the whole seemed to care, but everywhere felt extremely understaffed. There appeared to be poor communication and a break down in procedures resulting in notes not being passed on, no drinks or meals being provided. We're still concerned about the heart condition as we think it could have been the cause of mums faint as she's normally fighting fit. I've arranged for her to see a GP and ask for a referal to a cardiac specialist .

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Response from Jennie Negus, Deputy Director of Patient Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

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I am so very sorry for your mothers and your experience and I can understand your worries about what was happening. From your description both A&E and the admissions ward were very busy that night but that is our issue, not yours and some of the basic issues you raised such as not being offered a drink and pain relief fall well below the standards we expect. Equally you have described a real lack of information and communication - some of which may be directly related to the 'busy-ness' of the department and the staff but again is a basic need for us all - to know what is happening and what is going to happen. I have passed your story onto the staff in A&E and the admissions ward (CDU) and to managers and I know that they will be disappointed to hear of your experience, but will use your story as a means to share patient experiences. If there is anything further you need to know or understand from your mother visit then please do not hesitate to contact me at: patient.involvement@ulh.nhs.uk

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