The BBC reported last week that vital ward rounds are being neglected in hospitals.
The Royal College of Physicians and nursing have said that ward rounds need to be re-prioritised and become a ‘cornerstone’ of daily hospital life.
‘If only they had discussed the situation with me’ this is one of the key phrases we hear when we receive instructions to act on behalf of client in respect of a potential medical negligence claim.
Guidance issued accepts that ward rounds are essential for communicating with patients, monitoring progress and arranging appropriate treatment and discharge for a patient.
It was only reported in July 2012 that there is no national guideline or template in place in respect of observation charts and a huge variation between hospitals. The same seems to be applicable when it comes to ward rounds.
A further issue which has come to light when we receive instructions from relatives of clients, who are not well enough to give instructions themselves, is that they seem to be ‘kept in the dark’ in relation to the care of their loved one. The recent guidance provided has recommended a ‘summary sheet’ should be given to the patient and their relative confirming exactly what was discussed during the ward round. Hopefully if this recommendation is put in place it should significantly improve patient care and understanding for families.