"elderly nan after surgery"

About: University Hospital Lewisham

Anything else?

Thought I would start with a positive 1. the ward was clean 2. the nursing students were fantastic and should be proud My nan and our family did not have a great experience during her 16 day stay after surgery. Although the knee replacement surgery went well she contracted septicaemia less than 24hrs after surgery. At no point during this did any doctor, surgeon, consultant or nurse notify us of this. My nan and our family battled for days of on going tests and drugs to be told "We don't no what's wrong". It was 2 years later when she got told she needed a hip replacement that we found out that she had septicaemia. 7 out of the 9 nurses that were allocated to my nan during her stay were rude, disrespectful and clearly had no true knowledge of patient care and communication skills. One of the 'nice' nurses there had even commented on how the other nurses lacked in motivation and for most it was just a job!! nobody wants to hear this when they have a long stay ahead of them. Another problem was that diabetic medication was not being given appropriately (being left on the side behind my nan so she did not no it was there and not waking her for medication) and the doses even managed to change substantially while blood pressure tablets were completely stopped as on arrival her blood pressure was normal - well of course it was normal she's been taking the tablets for the last year! The effect of stopping the blood pressure tablets caused my nan to be bed bound for 1 week after coming out of hospital she was constantly dizzy, nauseous and eventually got swollen legs. The community nurses were no better when she arrived home. she was on a long course of clexane that was supposed to be administered at approx 5pm every night but they would randomly turn up at gone 8pm, no phone call at all. After 4 days of this happening I complained to the manager and showed my nan how to administer it her self and we stopped all community nurses coming round for this. My mum and I became her community nurses.... On the positive side the physiotherapists were fantastic we could not fault them and out of courtesy they would ring if they were going to be late. I failed to mention at the beginning of this that I am in fact a nurse myself I found the nursing care shocking and quite frankly I would feel ashamed of myself if I ever treated any of my patients or families the way we were treated. Needless to say we will never use the inpatient services again

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback about the care your Nan received whilst she was an inpatient on an orthopaedic ward at University Hospital Lewisham2 years ago. You state that the whole experience was very negative with a lack of communication to you or your family whilst your Nan was acutely unwell. This is clearly unacceptable and we apologise for this. You should have received a clear plan of care for your Nan from the clinician responsible for her . The Matron for the Surgical wards was disappointed to read your feedback about the perceived lack of nursing care that your Nan received. Your comments about 7 out of 9 nurses being rude, disrespectful and with a lack of communication skills were really very disappointing to her and the whole orthopaedic nursing team. The Matron and the ward manager of the orthopaedic ward have both been in post for just over a year, they pride themselves in delivering high quality care to the patients they are responsible for. This has been proven in that the level of complaints has reduced and the number of compliments that the ward receives has increased. The nurses have focused on improving their communication skills and ensure that the care that they deliver is patient and safety focused. Each individual nurse is accountable, taking responsibility and ownership of the care they have given. The issues you highlight about the changes with your Nan’s medication and nurses failing to ensure that she had taken it correctly were unsatisfactory and not what Matron would expect and she apologises for this. The issue you raise with the community nurses and the timing of their visits has also been investigated. Due to the work load of the community nurses it is difficult for them to be able to give a time for a visit but the accepted practice is that they would negotiate with a patient to arrange a time. We are sorry that you felt it was necessary to manage without a community nurse. Thank you for your positive comments about the ward cleanliness, the student nurses and the physiotherapists, these were very much appreciated. In summary the Matron for the surgical wards is really disappointed that you felt the care your Nan received was substandard. She would be happy to meet with you and your family to discuss this further and if you would like to do so please contact Ann-Marie Coiley, Matron for Surgery on 020 8333 3000 Bleep 2910. Or via e mail: annmarie.coiley@nhs.net

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