"Forced to leave my Dad soaking at North Tyneside"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My father is an elderly gentleman of 73yrs old and suffering from various illnesses such as Vascular Dementia, Diabetes, Angina, Strokes, incontinence arthritis. He has recently been admitted into North Tyneside General Hospital Ward 14, elderly care. My father was admitted due to his warfarin level being too high.

I had been waiting to hear from the hospital about whether or not my dad would be returned to his care home or not. I had rung earlier that day and had provided my contact number and requested that I be kept informed. It was getting late and I hadn't heard anything. So I telephoned the ward. I spoke to a male nurse and he told me that he was a staff nurse. I had to explain that I had rung earlier and requested to be kept informed but no one had bothered to inform me about my Dad. He told me that my Dad would be remaining in hospital for the next few days for observations. I asked him if he or anyone had informed the care home of this. He said "no". I then asked, how was my Dad supposed to get by without pyjamas and toiletries etc? He then said he would contact the care home. I told him that I had already done so and that I would collect these personal items and bring them to the hospital.

When I arrived I met the staff nurse whom I had spoken to on the telephone. I don’t know his name. I asked him where my Father was located and he pointed the way followed with his remark, “it's 5mins to end of visiting time”. I told him that I just had to put my Dad's pyjamas, toiletries etc in his side wardrobe. My Dad was sleeping when I arrived but he woke up on hearing my voice. The visitors to the gentleman in the next bed had told me that my Dad had been asking for me. I asked my Dad how he was. He said okay but that he was hungry. He said he hadn't had anything to eat. I thought this may be true bearing in mind he had just come on the ward that afternoon, after coming from x-rays. I went and spoke to the same Staff Nurse. I asked him if he could get my Dad something to eat. He said that my Dad had been fed. My Dad was still saying he hadn't eaten. At first the nurse said that he could probably get a cold sandwich. I asked if he could get some soup. He said he could get a cup a soup. The impression I got was that this was a bit of a bother to him. He then said I would have to leave as it was after visiting time. I told him I would as soon as I had put my Dad's things away.

About 5-mins later my Dad was trying to get out of his bed and asking for his clothes. I told him that he would have to stay in hospital until he got better. It was at this point I noticed he was wet and his bedding was soaking. My Dad was getting very irritable and I was concerned that he would try to leave the hospital as he has a history of doing this. I went and found the same Staff Nurse and told him that my Dad was soaking and needed a change. He said he would but that I had to leave now. I went back to my Dad and told him that I had to leave. This made him even more distressed. I could see that no one was coming so I went back and found this Staff Nurse sitting behind reception. I told him that he would have to change my Dad now, as he was becoming very irritable. The Staff Nurse replied they would do it but that I had to leave now. I said I would leave when I saw him changed. I told him that it was terrible that he should be left wet for so long. Again this nurse was more interested in me leaving, I believe because he had to carry out his duties whilst I was there and he didn't like it.

He threatened me with getting The Security people to force me to leave when all I had was my Dad's interests at heart. This Staff Nurse was very cheeky to me, and obviously lacking in good customer care skills. I had to leave at that point, leaving my Dad even more distressed in the hands of these seemingly incompetent people.

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Response from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. I am sorry that the care and treatment your father has received has fallen short of our usual standards. We take all comments and complaints very seriously and I am looking into this matter.

I would appreciate the opportunity to speak to you personally and would ask that you contact me direct on 0191 293 2730.

Rosemary Stephenson

Director of Nursing

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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