"care of patients "

About: Raigmore Hospital / Accident & Emergency Raigmore Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

I cannot fault the A and E staff who were all caring, informative of what treatment was occurring and why.

I was transferred up to Ward 6c - the admissions ward. This story is not about the care or treatment I received but about the care and treatment I witnessed being given to elderly patients in the same ward.

I witnessed an elderly client requesting a commode - who waited 20 minutes before one was supplied.

I witnessed an elderly patient, having been admitted to the ward shortly after myself and not being offered the toilet until 6 hours later when she attempted to make her needs known, it seemed to me she had some dysphasia and memory problems.

This same client was supplied with a three course meal at tea time - she managed to indicate that she could not manage the soup out of the cup and this was transferred to a beaker - which she still could not manage. After 15 minutes staff noticed and told her someone would be along to help after all the meals had been put out. After another 15 minutes a carer arrived and asked her a closed question - 'have you finished? Don't you want this? ' I intervened and advised she couldn't manage it. She was then fed what must have been lukewarm soup, and then her main meal. A straw was placed into her cup of tea and she was left to manage it alone - which she didn't, and it would have been stone cold by then.

With regard to my own care on the ward, I was, more or less, left to my own devices - getting to toilet on my own, and having been moved at 10. 45pm to Ward 6a with no explanation why, and being left all night with no water - despite requesting this and the nurse forgetting to come back with it

Being in the Social Work profession I found these incidents quite distressing.

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Response from Elaine Mead, Chief Executive, NHS Highland We are preparing to make a change

Dear Todd

Thank you for sharing your experience, and the experience that you observed for other patients on ward 6c. This is clearly not the standard of care that we would expect for any patients, but in particular for older people, and I understand why you would have found these incidents distressing.

Our Nurse Director is leading work on improving standards of nursing care for older people and I have already shared your posting with her. This will help us raise the profile of the importance of compassionate care both with the local team and more widely using these specific example.

I am very sorry that we clearly let these patients down, and that this in turn has caused you worry but can assure you that we take all examples of poor care seriously and use them to help improve the way that we provide care.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your views. If you want to give me any more detail then please feel free to contact me on 01463 704977

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