"The consultant worked very hard ..."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

(as a relative),

What I liked

The consultant worked very hard to make my mother as comfortable as possible given the financial restraints that are imposed on him. He was always available to speak to us (arranged via his secretary and not the ward staff) and was honest and open to us. He showed our mother dignity and above all respect. She was 83 years old and another consultant told her he would not treat her as she was too old! The Hospital has a policy that all patients over 65 are seen by the Geriatrician. This team is good but not speacialised enough to deal with our Mother's condition. It was the Geriatrician team who had asked this rude consultant to intervene, she was distressed to think that she was 'past it' you should look at he patient and not at a date of birth.

What could be improved

The ward was far too busy and finding staff to assist our Mother with her basic needs would take some time and many broken promises of 'be with you in a minute' Mum developed bed sores, and was also find to have contracted MRSA. Yes she was 83 but she walked into the Hospital and had lead a very full and active life up to her admission. As she became weaker food was often left on her bedside tray out of her reach, she had drips, drains and was on oxygen no thought was given to how she could reach this food that sat tantalizing her. Many times it was just cleared away untouched. Ward staff are very busy, understaffed and under funded ( commodes in short supply that you had to wait till others used it first, shared drip stands in EMU, and even nebulisers on the ward - what of clinical standards here! reducing infection!!!) Train the staff to LISTEN to patients relatives we had a better understanding of our mother but no one listened.

Story from NHS Choices

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