Ipswich Hospital to make changes after concerns raised over social care transfer from Kesgrave Ward

Ipswich Hospital. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Hospital. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Hospital has promised to improve the experience of older patients leaving one of its wards to go into care homes after the public shared worrying feedback.

Healthwatch Suffolk has made the hospital aware of comments it has received about the transferral of patients from the Kesgrave Ward into social care, such as patients becoming unwell quickly after being discharged, bad communication between the hospital and care home staff with regards to medications and general references to poor treatment.

As a result, Ipswich Hospital has outlined a number of actions it will take to prevent such issues in the future. These include keeping track of the time patients spend on hospital transport, which Healthwatch Suffolk says can reach a couple of hours without food or drink.

A spot check audit will also be undertaken in relation to nursing documentation on Kesgrave Ward to ensure patients leave the hospital having received the information they need to care for themselves post-discharge, such as details of changes to medication.

All staff on the ward will be reminded of the importance of maintaining privacy for patients; while the ward sister will also review the hospital’s own feedback from family and friends about their experiences on the Kesgrave Ward.

More generally the hospital has vowed to work in closer collaboration with care homes in its area.

Jan Ingle, a spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: “We have been working in partnership with Healthwatch Suffolk and indeed with care homes across Ipswich and east Suffolk to make sure that we are all giving our senior patients the very best experience of care.”

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Andy Yacoub, CEO of Healthwatch Suffolk, an independent watchdog which listens to and acts on the views of people using health and social care services in the county, said: “We believe that the positive response by Ipswich Hospital, to the concerns we have raised on behalf of patients and their carers, demonstrates that it has a learning culture; this is to be commended. It gives us the assurance that, when we raise matters that are of concern to patients and their families, the hospital will take them seriously and take action where necessary to improve its care.”

To share your experiences with Healthwatch Suffolk of being discharged from a local hospital, call 01449 703949 or email info@healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk.