Patient and carers harrowing stories

As we write this the CQC has yet to publish their report on the unannounced inspections carried out at our local hospitals at the end of March.

The three CQC reports on the announced inspections - for EDGH, ESHT and Conquest - are lengthy documents.

For readers who have not had the stamina to trawl through them (and because of the reconfiguration of services you should read all three), we would like to bring to their attention some comments ‘hidden’ in the CQC report on ESHT.

The caring and compassion section states: “We had a higher number of people attend our listening event than would be expected for a trust this size.

“We heard a number of experiences from patients and carers before our visit. Some of these were harrowing; some related to care and compassion; some to the responsiveness of the organisation.

“Whilst we noted these stories and empathise with those families who had poor care from the trust, during our visit talking to patients on the ward all experiences we heard were highly positive and patients praised the staff at both sites.”

The summary of findings states: “Between August 2013 and July 2014 CQC received feedback from 16 people who used our ‘Share your knowledge’ forms. The issues raised in these comments included: medications/pain relief not being given, rehabilitation services not being offered, dissatisfaction with the complaints process, long waiting lists/times, ineffective discharge of a patient to their home, staffing levels (and its effect on dignity, medications, pain relief and answering of call bells), operation delays, patient charts being completed incorrectly, poor administration, attitude of nursing staff and poor treatment in the accident and emergency department.”

The section entitled meeting people’s individual needs states: “The majority of the people we spoke to gave us comments intended to help the trust improve its services. We were frequently told by people ‘I don’t want others to experience what I did’.”

Readers may be surprised to hear that Healthwatch England, a national patient rights group, has research which shows that 25 per cent of patients wouldn’t complain even if they were suffering or in pain ‘because they think it will have an impact on their ongoing health and care’.

“The group also reports that quite often all people want when they do make a complaint is to know that their bad experience won’t happen to others.

Our campaign acknowledges there are good staff at EDGH, but there is much work to be done to bring our hospitals up to a ‘high’ standard of care.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all those who had the courage to contact the CQC and us - including the staff at EDGH who came forward. Let’s now learn the lessons and make the changes needed to make all our hospitals ‘outstanding’.

Campaign for Change Eastbourne

c/o 49 Station Road, Polegate BN26 6EA