A lack of regard for people as individuals

My dad was admitted to D3 Royal Blackburn Hospital in September. I could write a book about his ‘care’ and treatment from the NHS since June last year, but am not going into detail at this point as I do not wish to prejudice any future investigations. However I have read other reports about this ward and feel I have to add my views.

My dad was told that his condition was progressive and that there was nothing more medically to be done. Looking back I believe he was then ‘written off’. In late Oct we were told he could be discharged and arranged nursing care. A nurse told us she would do his continuing health care form but that it was ‘a big job’ and she couldn’t promise to do it quickly – three weeks later, after some pushing from us, it was done.

In that time my dad was in bed, catheterised, often without pyjama trousers, often wearing hospital issue pyjama tops, whilst having at least 4 pairs of his own in his cupboard. He would tell us he was cold but daren’t ask for extra blankets because he was made to feel like a nuisance. He told me there was one nurse he really didn’t like but wouldn’t tell me who or why because he was afraid what might happen when we weren’t there.

One day, as he was falling asleep I gave him a pot to put his bottom teeth in as they were falling out. I left the pot on his cabinet. A few days later he began to complain about not enjoying his food, I asked him where his teeth where – he didn’t know. I found the teeth, in the pot without water, at the back of his drawer – now my dad was bed bound so he couldn’t have put them there, nor could he get out of bed to find them. I left them on his table. The next day they had disappeared.

My mother, my brothers and myself asked staff on at least five occasions to look for them – dad was at this point having difficulty eating and wasn’t enjoying his food – coincidence? – not according to the staff on D3, some of whom thought the loss of teeth was funny. At no time did anyone ever attempt to find them, fobbing us off with ‘we can’t do anything at weekend’! At the end of my tether at what I was beginning to believe was neglect I emailed the Chief Executive -the teeth appeared the next day – coincidence? They were on the ward all along in a pot marked ‘lost teeth’. Disgraceful. They probably would still be there if I hadn’t sent that email.

My dad had his own nivea shaver but was shaved with a cheap disposable razor – no one ever bothered to take his own razor out of the drawer for him and give it him to shave himself.

His care plan mentioned spiritual needs – no one bothered to ask him about these, despite my mum asking for a priest to visit on the day he was admitted. We eventually found the priest who told us that as staff don’t have faith themselves they often disregard patients faith and spiritual needs – that is wrong and just further confirms my belief that patients coming to the end of their life are not seen as individuals to be cared for and respected.

We finally managed to reach a day for discharge – it was a fiasco and very traumatic. Dad was ill and it was touch and go whether he would be discharged. We arrived at 2pm to find him on a stretcher with ambulance crew ready to take him to the nursing home. I went with him. He does not remember much about the journey but he does remember a quite distressing part of it, which at the time, being in a daze as we were literally pushed off the ward, I had not noticed he had no trousers on, or not even socks to keep his feet warm. My 85 year father was discharged from ward D3 and sent halfway across town in November without trousers or socks and just a blanket covering him. He was neglected, his basic care needs were not addressed, his dignity was disregarded, all because someone could not be bothered.

My dad does not remember the journey, but he does remember and is very aware that he has been left without trousers very often whilst on ward D3. This distresses him, he thought it was because he had no clean clothes, and is now constantly asking us where his clean trousers are.

Thankfully we got dad out of that ward. He is now in a nursing home where he is getting real care by people who really do care about him. For the first time in a lot of weeks I have peace of mind when I leave him, knowing he will be helped to eat and drink if needed – not left to starve and dehydrate if he can’t do it himself, that he can ask for anything he wants without fear of being made to feel a nuisance, and most importantly that he has peace of mind.

My dad is an intelligent, very tolerant man, with an extremely heightened sense of justice and fair play. He is not one to complain loudly, and is of a generation which believed nurses and doctors were authority figures. In recent months his body has begun to let him down, but his mind remained as sharp as ever – he has battled to keep it that way, but his care on Ward D3 has contributed to distress and confusion.

I believe that had we not moved dad to a nursing home when we did, he would have died on ward D3 in the last few days.

I intend to pursue my complaints about D3 for the sake of other patients who may not have anyone to speak up for them. My daughter overheard two staff discussing a patient who had been readmitted – ‘oh for **** sake, he’s back. He gets on my bloody nerves’. Would you want to be cared for by them? I know I wouldn’t.

motherdemdike

Worst hospital for elderly in uk

Durham hospital is the worst hospital that I have unfortunately been involved with . My 78 year old father had cancer and was in bishop Auckland and Darlington hospital before being taken to Durham. Not only did they neglect him and allow him to seriously hurt himself to the point that he was unconscious for several days. They also where lazy, using guess work instead of doing the correct scans to diagnose his problem. Please do not use this hospital especially if you have an elderly relative, they simply do not care.

Natalie03

Deliberate neglect of my healthcare for two years.

Following a colonoscopy in July 2009 I started to put on weight at an alarming rate. I consulted my GP who said that it was nothing to do with her and that she was not prepared to help.

Later when I developed breasts and shrinkage in the genital area I asked her again for help. She said that she did not see a medical problem and refused to even discuss my predicament.

When the results of a separate investigation initiated by the colonoscopy surgeon suggested that I had a hormone imbalance which was responsible for the weight increase and the growth of breasts I approached my GP again. I asked her to explain the consultants report but instead of doing so she lost her temper and accused me of bringing a laundry list to a 10 minute appointment. She failed to act upon the consultant endocrinologists report and told the practice manager that she wanted me taken off her list and to transfer me to the other doctor in the practice.

I visited the other doctor and asked him to discuss the consultants report and to advise me but he just said that it was a load of rubbish and wouldn’t take note of it.

Neither doctor is prepared to address my very obvious problems. I am 77 years old, overweight by 26kg, carry two large female style breasts, my penis has shrunk to near vanishing point and I have chronic pains in my legs and feet. I am profoundly deaf.

Neither doctor will see me because they don’t recognise any issues that need attention. I tried to make a complaint but I was told that there was nothing to investigate and I was told that any further attempts to complain would be rejected as the same complaint cannot be investigated a second time.

I feel that I have been abandoned by the NHS.

jumbokray

My partner’s care could have been a lot better

Basically my partner had a pilonidal sinus which was causing him a lot of stress and pain, he could not sit or stand and could only lie on his belly. He went to his doctors where they gave him antibiotics but stated if it had not cleared in 2 days to go to A&E.

He was still feeling very poorly on Tuesday evening so I called A&E reception, just to ask if they were busy that evening as I did not want to take him in if he was going to be waiting long as he could not sit or stand. The response I got was “Well is he in pain? Just bring him in” then they hung up. I don’t feel that this was very helpful or caring at all and didn’t even answer my question I called about.

He stuck through the pain Tuesday night but was feeling a lot worse on Wednesday where he had a temperature of 39 so was very poorly.

Once again I called A&E to ask if they were busy as by this time he could not sit down at all and was crying in pain. Once again I feel I got a very rude and unhelpful receptionist. I told them the situation and all they could suggest was “can’t you take him to your GP to sort him out” even though I stated at the start of the call that the GP told him to come here if the pain got worse.

I took him that evening at 6pm where the receptionist told us that we had to wait in minors. We waited and an hour and half passed, and we wasn’t called in and people who had came in after us had all gone in and were seen. My partner went to the reception to ask what was going on and they informed him we were in the wrong place and had to go to major, so we went down to only find out they had been looking for him all that time.

A&E I have to admit were amazing that night. The doctor he saw was prompt and spoke to him like an adult and told him what the problem was straight away and then got him a nice bed to lie on and gave him all the antibiotics he needed and made him comfortable.

The nurse we had in A&E was also very nice and a good help. The surgeon came to him a few hours later and said he could go home for the night as his temperature was down but he had to come back the following morning for an operation. So he signed all the consent forms and we went home.

The following morning I took him to the hospital and they took him up to the day case unit, they had no idea what he was in for and that he had already signed the paperwork to consent for the operation, they were completely and utterly unaware of everything, I feel this was shocking.

Anyway I was sitting with him, then one of the nurses came in and said that I had to leave as I was not allowed on the ward which I thought was the biggest load of rubbish I had ever heard, my partner has a phobia of needles and hospitals and was petrified and wanted me there, but no, I had to leave.

I left and paced the corridor for 3 hours straight without stopping, in the end I burst into tears as I felt frustrated that I wasn’t told what was going on or anything, how could I just go home and leave him there all on his own to go through this. I told them that I suffer from very severe anxiety and that I was getting very frustrated and stressed and it was making me ill. In the end they spoke to someone and he said that I could sit with him this time, but made me feel like rubbish when he said “but I warn you that if you are around when he comes around from the anaesthetic then I will have you removed by security”.

I was stressed as it was, and hearing this just made me feel like I was useless and couldn’t even be there for my own fiancé. I wouldn’t have been so worked up and annoyed and upset in the first place if I was allowed to be with him.

The staff I met in the ward showed no sympathy and just made me feel like I was in the way. I felt so bad that I just felt sick. They treated and talked to my partner like he was a five year old as well which really annoys me.

The worst thing was that I walked into the ward to go and be with him but as soon as I walked in I could smell something disgusting, I thought nothing of it and went over to the bed my partner was in and sat with him but after a few minutes I could not take the smell. He was still fully clothed so I checked for him and could see the abscess had burst and there was pus everywhere, he said he felt like it for a while, so why had no one come to get me to change him or at least give him something to clean himself with, surely they would have been able to smell that smell? You could smell it soon as you went into the ward, they left him there to lie in his own filth for god knows how long as I was waiting like a lemon outside in the corridor so how the hell would I have known what was going on.

After waiting a full day it came to 4pm in the afternoon and finally he got the surgery, but I had to leave as “security” probably would have been called if I stuck around, I had to go home shaking and to wait 3 hours without hearing anything. I had panic attacks at home as my anxiety got very bad. In the end they called at 7pm to say he could go home, but I was already back at the hospital waiting, my partner did say to the staff to call me to tell me how he is was after the operation but they didn’t call.

My partner finally got home tired with pus stinking trousers and a bloody tshirt where they got blood over him putting a needle in his hand.

Overall after the experience over the last few days I would not rate Good Hope hospital at all, why do they even call it Good Hope more like bad hope or no hope.

I felt that some of the staff we came into contact with were rude and lazy, no wonder people die from neglect in hospitals. I am now very stressed and frustrated from the time I had to spend with my partner there and it makes me very angry to think that not even one of them could apologise. My partner didn’t even get given a pillow in the day case unit, the only time they noticed he didn’t have one was when he went to surgery so he went from 10am-4pm uncomfortable.

I am now considering to take up private health care even though we cannot really afford it. I think it would be so much better than having to put up with what we had to put up with.

Bjasmin

Unhelpful doctors in fertility clinic

My husband and I had been trying for a baby for 6 months with no success. Due to my age my GP referred me and my husband to the Reproductive Medicine department at Leeds General Infirmary.

I was already aware of the fact that I would not qualify for IVF unless I lost weight and I was happy to do so. The Doctor I saw first suggested I had a gastric band fitted which I declined, I explained that I wanted to lose the weight in a healthy and controlled manner by myself. I felt as if I was completely ignored and given leaflets regarding gastric band surgery.

Also because of my age the Doctor remarked in a manner I found to be very sarcastically “why have you left it this late?”

The doctor then said to me if you had done something about it sooner we could have helped.

We wanted to wait until we had enough money, a nice home and that I had recovered from previous depression before trying for a baby. This seemed to me to be the responsible decision.

At my next appointment with another Doctor I had lost 2 stone in less than 3 months, despite the last Doctor telling me I wouldn’t be able to lose the weight without a gastric band.

We were sent for further fertility tests which were luckily all good and normal and we were told we should be able to have a child without help but to come back if nothing has happened when I’m closer to 40 as long as I had lost enough weight to qualify for IVF.

This was fine, I accepted that this treatment is not available to someone with a high BMI but when I simply asked was there anything the Doctor could suggest to help us get pregnant naturally I was told by them that they were sorry but they couldn’t give me any further advice, they said they were not allowed to as it would be aiding and abetting someone who is an unsuitable parent.

My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief; I couldn’t believe someone just said that to me. Ok I have a weight issue that I was working hard on, despite them telling me a gastric band was the only option.

I don’t smoke or drink, I have been married for 14 years in a loving and stable marriage, I have a lovely home and we both have a good job. I think we are more than suitable parents.

When I left that room I burst into tears and my husband was so angry.

On top of all of this when we were waiting for test results nobody ever knew where they were or called us back, my GP had to chase up all of the tests because I think people weren’t doing their jobs properly.

Since then I have managed to get pregnant without help, I called the reproductive medicine unit to let them know and the woman on the phone said to me you do know that a cyst on your ovaries can give a positive pregnancy result? I couldn’t believe the secretary said that to me on the phone. I was shattered, I was so distressed and upset after being ecstatic about finding out I was pregnant. I went to see my GP because I was so worried and upset but he put my mind at ease and said to me he was disgusted that the receptionist had said that to me on the phone putting me under stress in early pregnancy.

I am disgusted with my treatment in Leeds. I am seriously considering paying for private care when I have my baby. I feel as if they have treated us badly. Infertility is stressful enough without feeling like you are being judged or people making sarcastic and nasty remarks when they know nothing about us.

JaneMc

Concern about the Care of my Grandmother at the Royal Oldham Hospital

My Grandmother was admitted for a routine minor procedure on the advice of her consultant. After the procedure she was fine but was kept in overnight. Within 24 hours her condition deteriorated, this was written on her notes. Over the next 12 hours she became very poorly and it seems like nothing was done.

The nurses continued to write the notes and say they were only nurses. A doctor never came, a consultant never came. Within 10 days my Grandmother died.

She had gone in there perfectly well, we felt she was given little attention after her operation and totally neglected due to her age. It seemed like there was absolutely no continuation of care.

Routongirl

Mistreatment of my mother

My mother went into Milton Keynes General Hospital in Dec 08 for a knee replacement. Already a Parkinson and cancer patient she was not in good health. Five days after her operation at 2 am she pressed her call bell to go to the loo. After 30 mins a nurse came along to my mum, ordered her to get off the bed (shouting nastily), then threw mum into the bedside chair and left here there until 7 am. My mother wet herself after numerous calls and bells to the nurses. The rest of the ladies in the ward also pressed their call bells but were totally ignored. Finally, the woman who was in the bed next to Mum ordered a nurse to come and see to my mother and also called me at home. We rushed to the hospital to find my mother highly distressed and when we questioned the staff, of course they had no knowledge of anything at all. The matter was reported to the Matron. After chasing him 9 times, I finally got a letter. The nurse had denied everything. The letter made no sense at all and as far as they were concerned the matter was closed. So, in other words all this had been imagined everyone in the ward! I really dont know how to take this matter further and would appreciate some advice.

Bubbly

Discharged untreated and uncared for because of complaint

I was admitted to Nottingham City Hospital (part of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust) by my GP to an endocrinology ward because of her concerns about my hypoglycaemia (I am not diabetic which makes this unusual and complicated). The consultant’s registrar agreed that it was appropriate to admit me for tests. Little was done until I saw the consultant at the end of June. She told me that I needed a 3 day glucose monitor and she would arrange that. She would see me to discuss the results as soon as they were available. She ordered me not to drive. She also said that she would refer me to her specialist dietician for advice.

I had the three day glucose test but the diabetes sister who inserted the probe and explained how to use the meter questioned why I was having it as she thought it wasn’t suitable for hypoglycaemia. I got sent the results and afterwards I had a telephone call from the consultant’s secretary to say that I was being discharged and a letter was on its way to me. I asked what the letter said and it made no mention of driving. I said that I needed to see the consultant and so an appointment was made for the end of September.

I complained to the trust that this was wrong: I think I should never have been told by her that she was discharging me without discussing the driving at the very least. I also believe that she had completely misused the results from the 3 day monitor – and that is from the manufacturer’s own instructions for it! In fact, I think that a lot of what she had said about the accuracy of the finger stick blood glucose monitors was entirely wrong and I added that to my complaint as she’d said, because of her mis-reading of the results, that I don’t have hypoglycaemia.

I asked the hospital to transfer me to another consultant for a second opinion since I felt she had made such a mess of things. I was firmly told by the clinical director for that department that I had to see her to give her an opportunity to discuss my care and explain herself. I agreed to do this.

I got a letter from the trust’s complaints department assuring me that my care and treatment would not be affected by my complaint in the same day that i also received a letter informing me that the appointment was cancelled, and I was to go back to my GP to be referred to a new consultant and wait weeks for all that to be done! This seems in complete defiance of the trust’s own policy and the Standards for Better Health which the trust must obey. I have been discharged, not treated and not properly diagnosed, which I believe was simply because I complained. I think that the trust secretary, who wrote me that letter, was too cowardly to speak to me and refused to return my calls asking for an explanation of why the trust is breeching its own polices.

I am simply disgusted at the way Nottingham University Hospitals Trust is treating me. I believe that the trust’s treatment of me has been nothing less than third rate and it should be ashamed of itself for the lack of care.

Terry

Poor treatment of elderly and disabled patients

My mum is currently in the Glenfield hospital, Leicester. She is too scared to comment about the care that herself and others on her ward are receiving, which she feels is disgraceful.

I have witnessed some of the attitudes of some of the nurses who I feel sadly bring down the name of nurses who do care. I have been consoling my mum for the past three days and have well and truly had enough but cannot do anything as I fear she will be treated even worse. Things like:

– her cannula popping out of her arm and being left for four hours, as the nurse reported being too busy

– painkillers prescribed first thing in the morning by the Dr, yet waiting ten hours because again they are too busy

– being given insulin when she is not supposed to have it

– not getting her diabetes injection all day as there simply isn’t time, then getting told she can’t leave because sugars and blood is unable to stabilise

– being told off as mum asked for breathing apparatus, then it being plugging in high above her – forcing mum to ask for assistance. At this point the nurse stretched the wire whilst mum had to manoeuvre herself in a contorted manner, then the whole thing blew up in her face. The nurse laughed and walked off.

Disabled and elderly with compounding health concerns – no wonder she cries on the phone to me at night. I have witnessed this treatment with others on the ward also – help these poor OAP’s to have dignity, to be listened to.

an observer

I felt neglected whilst on the ward

I was taken into A & E with concussion. They were good there but in the ward I thought the attitude was bad. I needed the toilet, and was told it was in the corridor, I said I could not stand up or even put pressure on my feet, I was told I could. My alarm was hooked over my trolley table and every time the nurse came to me to do tests she pushed it out of the way, I could not send for help. There was a dirty glass half full of water on that trolley, it was out of reach. I was not offered one hot drink or any clean water from ten at night until the day shift came on, they were good, washed me, gave me a hot drink, asked if I wanted breakfast.

I asked for home situation to be taken into account before discharge because my husband has serious mobility problems, and difficulty using his hands. It felt like nobody took any notice of what I said, I was discharged into the care of a man who was awaiting spinal surgery.

MY GP is a caring and competent doctor, she was shocked I had not had a brain scan, so arranged one, it turned out I had a mini stroke, yet a nurse had told me I could walk, and deal with my own toilet needs. I never saw the person in charge of the ward.

To put it bluntly, when I insisted on a commode when I had finished she said “get back into bed then” I could not move myself. She manhandled me, and I told her my bum should be wiped first. She gave me two little bits of tissue, I had to do it myself, she did not clean my hands till I told her they were stained with you know what, and could cause hospital infection.

It was fifteen months before I was well enough to report it, it turns out the time limit to report it locally is twelve months. I couldn’t, I was not well enough.

My husband has needed occasional hospital care including surgery for over 40 years. In my opinion some wards are very good, some are a disgrace.

Rose York