"Used to be a great hospital but not now"

About: The Whittington Hospital

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My mother has spent time (over 2 months) on two wards since July. The nurses do not effectively administer medicines. They left them in a cup each time for three weeks, ignoring my requests on the alternate days I visited to grind them, and make a drink, as approved by her doctor. She has dementia and will not swallow tablets. She put them into her handbag or mixed them into her tea and I found 10+ large tablets in her handbag on each visit (every other day). As a consequence of not managing her medication her dementia worsened with her score dropping from 19/30 to 16/30 over the time there, and her weight dropping 4kg. The doctors are young, inexperienced. My mother was given Trymedol (a very strong painkiller which made her unsteady when she took it. She was treated for high blood pressure, which she doesn't have She was found to have a lump in her lung and level 3 kidney failure, which the doctors did not tell me despite repeated requests for information. I learnt this from a draft discharge letter she's put in her handbag. She was sent home without the Social Worker, Scheme Manager, Carers and family being notifed, and I discovered that she was home when they phoned me asking that I collect her tablets. I checked what they were and was told that she was given 500mg paracetamol 4x daily for her damaged spine, which was totally inadequate. When I told the doctor that she currently has codeine he then prescribed 30mg codeine 4x daily!! Her current dose is 15mg twice daily and the dose he suggested would have put her into a coma.....Her GP, nurse at the memory clinic and Day Centre manager were all horrified at the lack of understanding shown about drugs by a ward doctor. They need more experienced doctors on wards and better communication with relatives.

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Response from The Whittington Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to share your experience with us. We were very concerned reading your comments and feel this requires further investigation to help us understand what happened and what action is needed. If you are happy with this we would ask that you contact the PALS team at whh-tr.whitthealthpals@nhs.net or on 020 7288 5551. We currently have a project underway which focuses on raising awareness and improving the care and experience of patients with dementia. We will share your feedback with the project lead to assist with this work. We sincerely hope to hear from you and want to take this opportunity to say that we are very sorry and appreciate how distressing this must have been for you and your mother.

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