"Uncharacteristic confusion when in hospital"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a staff member),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public who asked not to have their name published. They said…

This lady's husband of 50 years was in Tameside Hospital on ward 41. He was confused because of a urine infection. He was on intravenous fluids which he tolerated at first as he was drowsy, but pulled out the drip when he became more alert. Also became argumentative and asking to go home. The nurse dealing with him said he was aggressive, and she was not prepared to put up with his behaviour. His wife assured staff that he was not usually like this, and she (a qualified, retired midwife) knew it was confusion due to the infection. Wife not happy about his care. He was catheterised and lying on a rubber sheet which could be seen as it was not covered by bedclothes. He was not washed properly as the staff said he didn't want to be washed. A urine sample was not taken as the staff said he didn't give permission for them to take it from his catheter.

Suggestion - could staff all be made aware that an elderly confused patient may appear to be aggressive but that could be due to infection and the disorientation of not being in familiar surroundings?

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry that your husband had a negative experience. This is not the standard of care that we expect for our patients. Our aim is that all patients are treated with dignity, compassion and respect.

Your concerns have been highlighted to the ward manager of Ward 41 who will ensure your concerns are discussed with the nursing team, and also to improve the understanding of patient’s behaviour changes due to infection.

It is really important to us that that anything like this does not happen again to any patients in our care.

Kind regards,

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

‘’Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved? Please contact John Goodenough, Director of Nursing

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