"Poor ward nursing care after excellent A&E care"

About: St Helier Hospital

My 70yr father had pneumonia and temporary paralysis. his medical care in A&E on arrival was very good with various consultants attending and tests run. Unfortunately after admission the nursing care I wouldn't wish on an enemy. No consideration was given to my father's paralysed state, handover between nursing shifts was poor, staff did not know how to use the hoist, did not offer a lidded beaker, brought soup in a bowl instead of beaker, etc. there were frequent spilt drinks and toilet accidents until he regained some mobility because staff did not know how to use equipment or did not think where to position drinks etc. My mother had to come in every lunchtime for 2 weeks to feed him until he regained his mobility but was not offered a carer's parking permit that she later found she was entitled to. 3 nursing staff were very thoughtful and treated my father like a person and thought of ways around his mobility limitations but the rest - it didn't cross their minds. Patients did not have notices above their beds for specific needs, ie diabetes and assistance calls from the toilet (from the pull cord) were often ignored. The quality of food was good and my father was washed and had his bed changed daily, although no-one ever cleaned his teeth. when he was discharged he waited 6 hours for his take-home medication but it never came and at 8pm one of the nurses kindly took him downstairs in a wheelchair to the car as no porters were available. There has been no community care/district nurse and physio contact since discharge (3 days now) despite this being a requirement of his discharge. He was discharged before having sufficient mobility because the doctors didn't want him catching any hospital infections. I reported my concerns throughout his 3 week stay and after an initial prompt response, I heard nothing from the head of nursing or director of quality to confirm what actions had been taken. I nominated one nurse for an award on the hospital's website but in general we were very glad to get out of the hospital and hope not to return in a hurry. The medical care on the ward was ok, various medication was tried to tackle the infection, all tests were carried out, although the MRI scan took 10 days to be done. The experience has confirmed by thoughts that NHS A&E is excellent but the ward care is 'every man for himself', certainly in terms of nursing.

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Response from St Helier Hospital

Thank you very much for taking the time to let us know your feedback. We hope that your father is now feeling much better. Some aspects of the care you received are very concerning, and we are keen to investigate further (and as part of that, let you know what actions we have taken to help ensure it does not happen again). Please contact our PALS team on 020 8296 2508 or email pals@esth.nhs.uk so that we can do this. Thank you.

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