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in wanting to make a complaint about this...

(13 Posts)
RalphGnu Mon 30-May-11 10:18:10

My 88 yr old Gran recently had a stay in hospital and she was due to come home yesterday. She was told she would be going home in the transport provided at 9am. She was told at 10am that she needed to wait for some medication and she wouldn't have to wait much longer. She was in a room on her own with no tv, magazines or company. She can't walk well so had nothing to do except wait and twiddle her thumbs.

At 12pm she was told her medication would be another ten mins and no, it couldn't possibly be chased up, the pharmacists MUST not be disturbed.

At 3pm, ditto.

At 5pm she hobbled to the receptionists desk to ask someone to ring her a taxi. This was refused, the medication would be another ten mins.

At 7:30pm she was told her doctor had made a mistake; she didn't need the medication after all.

She got home at 9pm after waiting for 12 hours. She was exhausted and tearful. This morning she had a phonecall saying she has medication waiting that needs to be picked up today.

How do I go about making a complaint?

SnuffleTurtle153 Mon 30-May-11 10:24:05

Have a look online or call the switchboard number and they should be able to put you through to HR/equivalent who can advise of complaint procedures.

That's really crap. I'd be fuming. Definitely make a complaint, then let us know what they do about it.

Brevity Mon 30-May-11 10:24:46

The hospital will have a PALS department. They are usually very helpful. Makes sure your complaint is put in writing and is as detailed as possible.

This is appalling. Hope Gran is on the mend now.

smudgethepuppydog Mon 30-May-11 10:26:28

Yup, second PALS. I used them recently and found them helpful. I hope your nan feels better soon.

MoaningLisa Mon 30-May-11 10:27:32

That is disgraceful sad poor gran! Hope she is ok? Yes deffinatley make a complaint but it has to be in writing.

bleedingstill Mon 30-May-11 10:28:52

Sorry to hear about your gran. I am afraid this is not that uncommon , ie the time for leaving hospital either being shrouded in mystery or constantly changing. I speak with recent experience with both my parents

I hope some people who work in hospitals can shed some light on this.

She was lucky to have her own room though .

In the hospital my mum was in recently I was shocked to see there were TVs at every bed but you had to pay to use them.

This is not a rant about the NHS . My mum received quite wonderful treatment throughout her terminal illness ( she has since died) . But the hanging about hospitals not knowing what is going to happen to you is, sadly very common.

bleedingstill Mon 30-May-11 10:37:28

My dad recently had an outpatient appointment to discuss the results of a scan for something potentially serious.
The appointment time was changed ( by letter ) THREE times. ( he rearrranged his holiday and I rearranged my work accordingly so I could be with him).
We live at opposite ends of the country so met near the hospital.

It took about half an hour to park the car ( hospital parking a real problem)

The appointment took approximately 45 seconds , no exaggeration. HE was told he was absolutely fine, no abnormality at all.

Great news , but why was it not given in a letter or by telephone?

What a crashing waste of time and money and unnecessary worry for my dad.

squitch Mon 30-May-11 10:43:21

When my mum was discharged from a long stay in hospital (she has dementia) to a care home for some physio (long story but imagine 3 months in hospital without getting out of bed for absolutely no reason whatsoever). I was not informed she was being discharged and got a phone call at 5pm when i was out shopping in a city about 50 minutes away from the hopsital. They did not ring me to tell me that she was being discharged, but that she had 'forgotten' her medication. I queried how a elderly lady with dementia could have forgotten her medication as she wasn't even aware that she was in hospital. I then rang the care home to see if she was ok and to apologise for not being there to help settle her in. She wasn't there. After much panic and frantic phone calls to the hospital and all other care homes i could think of in the area i finally found her. She had been put into a taxi, on her own, in a hospital gown, dressing gown and bare feet and been sent to a completely different care home.

Please speak to PALS, they were incredibly helpful and kept me sane

Lunabelly Mon 30-May-11 10:53:00

Squitch - Good grief! That is shocking. Are you taking that further?

georgie22 Mon 30-May-11 10:54:09

bleedingstill - sorry to hear about your mom. Good to hear she had excellent care though. It's usual to have paid TVs at the bedside which is fine if you're going to be in for a short time but not so great if you're staying in hospital for long periods.

RalphGnu - unfortunately your gran's experience is not uncommon. I worked as a ward sister for several years and it used to drive me mad. I was quite persistent though and used to just keep bothering pharmacy to speed up the process. It is usually behind the control of nursing staff on the ward but it was always us getting a hard time about it so I just used to hassle pharmacy. It was sometimes due to waiting for the junior doctors to prescribe the drugs but usually that's done quickly with planned admissions and discharges. It's poor treatment of your gran so I would contact PALS.

RalphGnu Mon 30-May-11 11:04:18

Thank you everyone. I'm appalled to hear your stories too. I phoned the hospital to confirm she definitely needs to get the medication today so my cousin is taking her up shortly.

I am going to contact PALS this afternoon, I can't let it go. To be kept in a waiting room all day is bad enough, but when you're semi-incontinent and can't walk unaided and you're a long corridor away from the nearest loo is just awful. Turns out she wasn't even offered a meal.

Gran is tough and will soon be over it, I hope. She has no complaints about the care she received on the ward and the nurses I met were friendly and kind, it's just.........how dare they! She is so precious to me and can't bear the thought of her being treated as a bothersome old lady. Breaks my heart.

theinet Mon 30-May-11 14:31:59

Trouble is, many nurses and doctors working in the NHS see old age as a disease in itself.

My gran was nearly killed through absolutely shocking neglect and an absence of aftercare in a hospital, had a reasonably routine operation, they were totally negligent in the conduct of the operation and the follow on care, our family ended up doing all the nursing back to health at home - we had to remove her from the hospital, on the advice of her GP, as things were going so badly wrong in the hospital. It was unspeakably bad.

we didn't sue but we should have done.

Luckily, she lived to tell the tale and is still with us 10 years later at the age of 93.

bleedingstill Tue 31-May-11 21:04:58

With my parents extensive recent (ongoing in dad's case) hospital visits , nurses and doctors have been universally wonderful. Mum's oncologist was quite exceptionally caring.

It just seems there are obstructive, unhelpful SYSTEMS in place that are not conducive to patient care. I thought hospital managers were meant to sort that sort of stuff?

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