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Luton and Dunstable Hospital Good

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 24 February 2011
Date of Publication: 15 April 2011
Inspection Report published 15 April 2011 PDF


Inspection carried out on 24 February 2011

During an inspection in response to concerns

During this review of compliance we visited the Luton and Dunstable hospital and spoke with patients and their relatives on wards 15 and 16. These are both Elderly Care Medical wards.

Generally, people spoke highly about the staff, with one person saying, �That young man is very kind and will do anything for you." Another said, "The staff are very nice but they are always so busy."

This latter comment was also reflected by a relative, who said that nurses did not always respond to patient�s call bells very quickly and that this sometimes meant that the person could remain soiled for long periods of time. This person also said that communication between the doctors and the nurses "is lacking at times" and gave an example of medication changes not being conveyed to staff in a timely way. However, they also said that, when they raised these concerns with the relevant ward sister, they were satisfied that matters were being addressed.

When we spoke with people about their discharge plans, we found that the level of information shared with people and their degree of involvement in agreeing these plans was inconsistent.

One person confirmed that they were fully aware of the plans for their discharge and that their relative had been involved in the planning process. They were due to be discharged that afternoon. However, despite this detailed planning, transport arrived just as the midday meal was being served on the ward. This meant that this person was discharged to a care home, without having their midday meal.

Another person confirmed that they were aware of what was in their care plan and their original discharge plan. However, they described themselves as �cross� because plans to be discharged into a rehabilitation bed had been changed at short notice and they were now being discharged straight home.

A relative told us that they were unaware of any discharge plan, despite the fact that they visited their loved one every day. They felt that this was because the individual receiving care did not speak English and that no effort had been made to discuss this with them in a way that they could understand.

Another person was unhappy because they were being sent home with the support of a domiciliary care agency, instead of going to a rehabilitation unit as previously planned and agreed. They and their family were worried that the alternative support package may not be sufficient for them to cope at home.