24 hours in the NHS

Kathryn Ward

Kathryn Ward,
Engagement Manager
Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing

Last week my daughter moaned a bit about tummy ache and feeling sick, she was off her food and was going to bed on my first request, rather than my 21st (she’s a troublesome teen rather than a terrible two).

So on Friday morning, when there were more moans and groans, I left her in the capable hands of her gran and grandad, where she could lie in bed all day, watch beauty bloggers on You Tube and have my parents bring her tasty snacks on demand.

When I returned from work, there was an academy winning performances of “I don’t feel well”, she certainly looked the part with a blanket draped around her shoulders and a bucket by her side (just in case!).

It was late, I’d had a long day, so when I asked “do you think you need to see a doctor?”, I quickly followed up with “you better not be messing me around”, “do you really want to go to Blackpool A&E on a Friday night” and “shall we see how you are in the morning?”.

We waited till the morning … she was worse! So, I called 111 (I’ve never had the need to do this before, but after some simple confirmation details, we were in “the system” … it knew me as her mum, knew where we lived and which doctors practice we were attached to.

After describing the symptom’s, I was informed she sounds like she needs an emergency appointment within the next 2 hours, and somebody else would give me a call to arrange.

Sure enough, 5 minutes later I had a call from the hospital, again I was back in “the system” and didn’t have to explain any information again and was told to present ourselves within the hour.

A doctor came to collect us, she had already read the telephone notes in “the system” from my earlier call and suddenly my daughter was gowned up examinations and tests were happening around me.

Looking very white and small on a hospital trolley, information sharing never crossed my mind, my focus was on my daughter, I trusted everybody in that hospital to do the right thing.

Nothing conclusive came from the tests, but I was informed that all of the information regarding my daughters care would be passed on to my GP. And sure enough on Monday morning, I received a call from my GP asking me how she was and arrange for a follow up appointment… she was back on the road to recovery

In hindsight I have made a list of what was important:-

  1. I only had to provide information once
  2. I was spoken to in language I understood – although I can usually string a sentence together quite well,  in this unnatural circumstance I managed to get my daughter’s name wrong and forgot that she was allergic to penicillin … the doctor reminded me, from “the system”
  3. The professionals all worked collectively
  4. And perhaps most importantly, I am happy with the NHS sharing mine and my families information to all of those involved in our care, the professionals don’t need my consent to do this, it is implicit.

Finally, I was reminded of a quote;

“Trust is an outcome;  it’s how you behave to gain that outcome that is important” . Many thanks to all of those involved in my daughters care at Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, their behaviour was impeccable.

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