"13-week stay"

About: Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent

My mother was admitted after a minor fall at home. She was 92 at the time and died 13 weeks later. She was at various times on three different wards, the AFU, 12 and 44. In all cases the attitudes of staff were lamentable. Mother was treated as a nuisance. When we visited she was always dishevelled, her hair uncombed and on one occasion there was evidence of uneaten food in her bed clothes. Any enquiry as to her progress was met with "We need her bed" despite staff being told of the search for a nursing home being ongoing and urgent with very poor co-operation from Leicestershire Social Services. We were made to feel it was our fault she was there at all. I live 160 miles from Burton and every phone call enquiring of her condition was the same: "We can't discuss it over the phone." Every call required a full explanation of how difficult it was to get there and that visits would be not more than every week or so. The automated phone system does not work. All attempts to direct dial the ward always failed as 'You have dialled an invalid number, please wait for the operator." Every call to to the direct operator number met with the same routine. My wife visited the toilets in the main entrance. They were filthy. On the night (Saturday) she died, the Staff Nurse thought we should visit as she was failing. On being told it was a 3 hr drive away, she seemed unable to comprehend this fact. I asked to be called back as soon as the doctor had seen her. 20 minutes later she was dead. I was told to call at 11:00 on Monday morning to check the availability of the Death Certificate. It wasn't and advised I would be called in the afternoon. I wasn't. I had to make another call and then told to collect on Wednesday and register the death. The timing was critical for me as I couldn't just make a 6 hr journey for the paperwork speculatively. It had to be a meaningful trip involving Registration, Undertakers and house clearance. In all, this was a shabby experience. There were numerous other minor administrative failings that indicate this is an establishment that is poorly run.

Story from NHS Choices

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