Poor nursing.

My father in law was admitted to Sunderland Royal Hospital ward E53. I found the medical staff to be very good. Good at communicating and caring.

Some of the nursing staff on the other hand were unprofessional and very uncaring.

My father in law was put onto the Liverpool care pathway and it was explained by the doctor who was very good.

After this discussion we were asked if there was anything we wanted so I requested a side room as his breathing was noisy and thought it would be more pleasant for us and him and the other patients. This was on the Saturday and we were told by a male staff nurse that the bed manager said there wouldn’t be one available until Monday which as he was only to survive until Monday seemed a bit late. I suggested another ward or moving out a fitter patient but said that was not feasible. A room did come available on the Sunday however. I did wonder if he would ever have got a room if I hadn’t pestered.

He was having sedation as he was rather agitated at times so I asked the nurse at the nurses station if he could have some and be turned at the same time. 40 minutes later it hadn’t arrived so my husband went to ask again and the nurse said she hadn’t been to get it due to being too busy. It arrived in the next 5 mins. I feel it is too long to wait, thankfully it wasn’t analgesia. We asked for him to be turned as it had been 6 hours she said she would be back. 10 mins later she did not appear so we did it ourselves. When she did appear, I wasn’t very happy and asked her how often she thought he should be moved and she said 4 hourly even though 6 hours had lapsed. He certainly wasn’t given 4 hourly turns for pressure care.

Ways in which they could improve care: – when the doctor takes the family into a room and discusses the Liverpool Pathway, a nurse should also be present so that she can tell you what the nursing care pathway will be. What we were promised from the doctor about the nursing care was certainly not the case. Once he was deemed as terminal, we never saw nurses for dust.

When in a side room with a dying, patient relatives need support as well. A nurses head put round the door every hour or so to see if the patient is ok wouldn’t kill them surely and would show caring and compassion for others which apparently is sadly missing in the trained nurses.

The sister appeared on the Monday on the ward. Her desk was opposite the room we were in. She never once came to introduce herself or look in on my father in law which I thought was very unprofessional and uncaring. The other nurses didn’t either. We had to go and find them if we wanted anything and then wait. I felt as though we had been put in a room and left to our own devices with no care for the dying in place.

My husband was concerned about leaving at night because nobody was coming in through the day for about 6 hours and that was when we were there. What hope did he have of getting any attention at night? The most friendly and attentive staff were the support workers and the domestic staff who did dare to venture into the room to ask if we wanted cups of tea. Thank you.

All in all a very frustrating and disappointing hospital stay. Highly disappointed in the qualified staff and feel they put nursing into disrepute. My father in law did die and needless to say we didn’t get there in time. They said there was someone with him but am loathe to believe them as to how little attention they gave him through the day.


My sister’s experience of the liverpool care pathway

Earlier this year, my sister was admitted to an Ward 5 with a stroke and she was not given a clot buster as part of her treatment. Approx 3 weeks later, the relatives were offered the opportunity to remove all her treatments including hydration and nutrition. At this stage, they refused the offer. She was not offered speech therapy nor physiotherapy – not even for her affected arm which was becoming very contracted. In late May, a progress meeting was held where it was decided, in my view illegally, that her treatment should be stopped. However, because I queried the legality of this, they checked the Mental Capacity Act and found that it was illegal. In spite of this, the consultant said they would not give her any antibiotics, should she need them. I wrote to the medical director, the chief executive and the consultant requesting a meeting, which they ignored.

Instead soon after, they transferred her to a local Nursing Home where, in my opinion, she was illegally put on the Liverpool Care Pathway. She was not dying and the relatives were not informed until after she was put on the LCP – we were not informed until after she died 15 days later. I feel we were lied to and deceived by the nurses and the medical staff and especially by the doctor I spoke to after my sister’s death. I believe she tried to fudge the course of events and muddy the waters by eternally quoting the importance of her “professional Judgement”.

I am finding it incredibly difficult to come to terms with the loss of my sister but importantly that she died alone, because we were not told that she was put on the LCP. I believe the senior staff at the hospital and all the people who I feel deliberately deceived us at the Nursing Home should be ashamed of their lack of professionalism.

My sister was in Airedale Hospital for almost 4 months. She did not have her nails cut and they were long and thick. When I asked if it was possible to cut her nails, I was told by a care assistant that they had to go on a course to learn how to cut nails and anyway they didn’t have time. When I next visited her nails were cut but only on one hand and not her toe nails. Her mouth was in a disgraceful state with huge white spots, I wondered whether this was thrush. I cleaned her mouth when I could, but it was very sore. On the positive side, some of the nurses were lovely and the ward sister was also very supportive, albeit reticent about my sister’s care plan.

In my opinion, PALS was positively useless, as were most of the agencies who purport to be on the patients side. I did not receive any help or useful advice. It is a shambles. This is a short version of what has been a complete nightmare.

carme miranda

Many Questions over care of beloved relative

My Mother-in Law (MIL), suffering with ‘End Stage’ COPD was admitted to Furness General Hospital through Accident and Emergency (A&E) at the end of October 2010 accompanied by her husband (H) and youngest son (YS)

YS found A&E to be very busy to the point where staff were unable to have many of their requests acknowledged, hence lengthy waits for essential monitoring and tests causing unnecessary distress to patient, family and staff, WHY? MIL was in a heightened state of confusion which could have been avoided had one of the Family been allowed by her side, YS and H were becoming increasingly anxious and upset as neither were allowed to be with my terminally ill MIL until after a lengthy time in the waiting area YS insisted.

MIL was eventually admitted and settled onto the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) in the early hours of Saturday morning.

At approximately 10.30 the next morning. H received a phone call from a member of staff to inform and prepare him for the shock he was to receive, my MIL had fallen out of bed and sustained a nasty injury to her neck, WHY ? Upon visiting, the Family were very distressed to see the result of the fall and were becoming increasing concerned over her welfare as it seemed to them that the ward was very short staffed. WHY?

That evening MIL was transferred to Ward 6 accompanied by H, eldest son (ES) and myself, we waited quite a while in the patients lounge whilst the staff settled her in. When we were allowed to her bedside, I was very disturbed to see the call bell still in place on the wall, out of reach, WHY? I immediately placed it on the bed within reach. The Family were very reluctant to leave and shared our concerns particularly of MIL’s confusion with a nurse, who assured us they would keep a close eye on her.

Having witnessed serious failings in care afforded to my late Mother and a subsequent 3yrs to reach the end of local resolution complaint, I was, as may be expected, anxious to see this would not happen again. Whilst visiting on the third day I happened to read the Risk Assessment and was extremely concerned to read ‘No signs of confusion’ WHY? This surprised and shocked us as MIL suffered with short term memory loss and was in a constant state of confusion! I spoke to a member of staff regarding my findings and the following morning telephoned the Complaints department informing them of my concerns, arrangements were made for H and myself to meet with Elderly Care that same afternoon, our concerns were listened to, the meeting was productive, a laminate card with instructions was provided within hours and MIL was moved nearer to the nurses station as per our wishes, an investigation into the fall was also promised, as yet we have not received any feedback on this. WHY?

Unfortunately, the Family felt very uneasy and reluctant to leave MIL, we perceived the ward to very short staffed. On numerous occasions drinking needs were not met, WHY? Often we found ourselves asking for a beaker and straws as they had not been made available, this is basic care and unacceptable that needs were not met and that the Family were faced with this problem on each visit.

One evening mearly a week after MIL entered hospital there was a marked deterioration in her condition, whilst we were yet again at the nurses station requesting drinking aids! WHY? H and myself were informed MIL was very poorly, had been diagnosed with Pneumonia the previous Monday, this was the first time any of the Family had been informed of the diagnosis WHY? Therefore it was a shock to read the POTTS at 20.00hrs that evening, the last entry of observations was 13.00hrs. Would 8hrs plus seems a lengthy interval for a patient in such a poorly condition? WHY? At the end of visiting, we tried to raise our concerns with the staff unfortunately they appeared to be in the depth of an emergency situation on one of the bays, we lingered for quite a while in the hope of speaking to someone, we felt very uneasy and anxious at having to wait 18 hours until the next visiting time. The emergency situation continued so we reluctantly made our way home with the family deciding to ring the ward first thing the following day to arrange a morning visit, sadly MIL passed away in the early hours without her family around her. WHY?

The next distressing event was for the Family to be told there was no one available to accompany us to the Viewing Room for 24hours despite being told on our first visit we would be welcome to visit with 30mins notice.

Why were the Family not offered the services of the multidisciplinary palliative care team? As per Nice Clinical Guidance, according to Doctor Foster hospital guide the Trust does provide a palliative care service.


End of life care

Ambulance into A&E 7. 30am on a Sunday. Very speedy attention, great respect and dignity maintained. Staff receptive to my information on events leading up to admission and past medical history, special pressure mattress sourced within 5 minutes of my request and Consultant thoroughly explained the Liverpool Care pathway and checked the DNR form with me to ensure that all my mothers wishes were clear and would be respected.

Staff ensured a telephone available to make any calls to other family members and I was given breakfast and hot drinks and emotional support all the time we were in A & E including a pass for the car park to avoid me having to constantly feed the meter to avoid clamping.

I was kept informed about bed availability and timescales. Once moved onto the ward staff again showed respect and apologised about the lack of a separate room. Once again I was given hot drinks and a sandwich enabling me to stay beside my mother in her last hours.

Another move later in the day to a private room on a elderly care ward and again lovely staff, gentle care to ensure my mother was clean, comfortable and pain free and turned regularly to avoid pressure sores until she passed peacefully away in the early hours.

In total 48hours of quality care and respect both for my mother and myself and other family members in contrast to a hospital experience 3 years ago in the same hospital.

Happy Carer

The care Southport and Formby hospital gave my uncle during his final 3 weeks

I have recently read about the Liverpool Care Pathway and realise that this was the care and decisions taken in conjunction with myself regarding my uncle’s treatment.

He was an independent batchelor with an active lifestyle living alone. One night in the early hours he felt unwell and tried to go to his front door to call for help. Unfortunately he collapsed inside against the door with a massive stroke. He was not found for 24 hours, and was taken to the above hospital.

He had no other relations and as his only relation I travelled from Cornwall to be with him. The staff were excellent, the hospital was clean and the doctor discussed every detail with me. It was a choice that I was given with no pressure.

He passed away painlessly and peacefully a few days later in the early hours and the night nurse telephoned me and I was able to be with him. If he had been able to have the choice with his doctor that I was given it would have been his wishes.

He was paralysed, unable to speak or eat with no prospect of improvement. Tests had shown this. Mentally he was aware of his situation, Everything that was done for my uncle at the hospital was professional, compassionate and caring.

I consider that it was in his best interests and he would have agreed, to have hastened the end of a life that had now become impossible for him to bear.

I thank all who cared for him during his short stay and final days. They were marvellous. my uncle died in 2009.


My late wifes treatment or lack of it

My wife suffered several strokes over a long period of time, the care she received was in most cases disgusting, over time she got worse getting very weak.

One day a nurse said perhaps she is in the last stages of dementia, my reply was that must apply to all stroke victims as the brain is damaged a bit more each time, as my wife had difficulty swallowing I requested a stomach tube be fitted the Doctor replied it will have no advantage, well I think it would have been an advantage to my wife.

Each time she was admitted after that she was just left to lay in bed with no attempt to get her up, she got weaker as time went on and twice she was in need of surgical intervention but was turned down as being too weak to go through with an operation, she developed pressure sores with the heal of one foot turning black.

My wife was then put on the Liverpool Care Pathway with little choice from myself her husband and carer. The fastest I have seen them move was when they withdrew her fluids and nasal tube that they promised me they would keep to administer her medication but silly me I trusted them, there was no intention of giving her any medication.

My wife was transferred to a private care home where she died within two days. that is another statistic that will not be on your books as she died away from your Hospital.

A week later on the day of her funeral the post had tried to deliver a letter and I should collect it the next day, it was from the N H S saying they had agreed to pay for my wife’s continuing care. thank you for that, you have proved that you mess up all the time even after death.


It was all too ‘matter of fact’

My dad was generally feeling unwell and was admitted to Stepping Hill on towards the end of March. After been in the general assessment ward from 7pm until nearly 1 in the morning, he was transferred to ward A15.

He was in good spirits and we weren’t too concerned, as he did suffer from COPD and had been down this route of having a chest infection before, some 2 years ago.

The usual things happened, blood tests, xrays to name but a few but within the next few days my dad’s mood changed. He called me from his mobile to say that the doctor had been round to inform my dad that it may be something serious i.e. cancer, and that due to his age (88) they did say that they wouldn’t consider reviving him should his heart fail!

In the same meeting the doctor also stated that the type of cancer he had did react well to chemo, so there was still hope.

Over the next few days, my dad looked lost; he stated that perhaps his life wasn’t worthy of saving, so you can imagine the heart break felt by me and my family.

So days passed in a blur. The news was bad; it was cancer, small cell lung and due to my dad’s age and state of health, it was decided to place him on the Liverpool Pathway for the dying.

Just after the doctor left us after the bad news, along came the specialist nurse offering her help? It was hard to take in, my dad’s life was ebbing away right in front of my eyes, we didn’t expect this outcome and we were both n total shock. Time should have been given to us in privacy, to take in the words from the doctor and not to be met with the nurse offering her advice, on hospice care, not right there and then.

It doesn’t help also that these wards don’t really offer any privacy. On that day quite a few people were being told news of a similar nature, we were all lost in our own world but everyone eyes were upon us. This could and can be avoided.

Even though we knew he had cancer, nobody was able to tell us how much time, other than he’s very poorly.

My dad had built a bond with some of the nurses; he was registered blind though he had a little vision, so he knew the nurses by their voices. These nurses were saints, not only to my dad but also to me, we had favorites and we both made sure we told them so.

Anyway the doctors did decide to put my dad on the Liverpool Pathway for the dying. I got a call from the hospital to tell me the doctors needed to have a word so I went to the hospital to be met with this news, that they had in fact already spoke with my dad about this and he had agreed!

The specialist nurse again visited my dad, trying to insist that she felt it wasn’t the ideal place to end his final days. A lot of things happened, when on reflection I didn’t agree with.

Why did a nurse empty my dad’s medical cabinet of his drugs, whilst he looked on, the look on his face I will never forget. Surely this could have been done whist he was sleeping?

Why was he told that his cancer was treatable, when it became clear it wasn’t?

Why did the doctors seek permission from my dad for Pathway when clearly he wasn’t really up for making such decisions, as he was confused? This should have been discussed with me in attendance.

Apart from our favorite nurses, it was all too much matter of fact and in reflection I’m not happy at a lot of things that went on. In general, I know the nurses work hard, some above others, those favorite nurses were my rock, they helped me more than they know.

But in general, it was all a matter of fact, in particular the specialist nurse. I would have appreciated her to have come across with more sincerity and warmth than that she had shown not only to me but others, who I know their families were of the same opinion.

Sadly my father passed away at the beginning of April, a total shock to me and my family, I miss him terribly.

It wasn’t an ending that my dad would have wanted (who does?) but luckily I was able to spend as much time with him as I could, I was lucky that I was able to tell him how much I will miss him and how much he was loved.

But unfortunately I’m left with memories of why, if and but. Not helped by the matter of factness of it all.


Excellent care and support

The care and support was excellent. My elderly Aunt was admitted to resus in very poor health. When it became clear that she was not going to survive she was put on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) and every effort was made to make her comfortable and maintain her dignity without lots of intervention. She was transferred to a side room on a ward where we were allowed to stay with her. I cannot thank all the staff involved enough for the care a compassion she, and we, received throughout.


Ward 14 staff cardio respiratory staff

My brother was admitted to this hospital on Saturday 19th Jan through A and E onto MAU then to ward 14 . He was very ill throughout this time and was compromised by poor communication difficulties due to years of suffering multiple sclerosis. I feel that throughout his short stay here ,he received the best medical attention with regards to treatment ,investigations, dignity and care. At all times the family were kept informed of his condition ,treatment and prognosis. We were able to stay with him in shifts so that he was never alone and afraid and made welcome by the staff on every occasion even though they were very busyon both the wards.Nothing was too much trouble

A special thank you to all the staff that cared for him, including the health care workers.

Another special thank you to the Consultants who treated him with infinate dignity and respect when he was at end of life care on the liverpool pathway. At this time of poor press regarding the NHS ,may I say we are so grateful for such excellent care here.


Thank you to the staff of Fordham Ward

I want to express our deep appreciation of the care which your hospital provided to my mother-in-law, Marigold Jaques, in her last days.

Marigold was admitted from A&E to Fordham Ward on Thursday 21st March and, having been placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway, died there on Saturday 30th.

We would like to thank the sisters and staff nurses, as well as all their helpers.

Their care and compassion – for Marigold and for all of us in her family – just complemented the obvious professionalism of the whole team. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Ms Robin Shaw