"My Fathers care in Gentian Ward 16/3/14 to 26/3/14"

About: King George Hospital

My 93 year old Father (was admitted to the above ward on 17/3/14, after spending the night in A&E (without the offer of any water). He had had a couple of falls (fortunately nothing broken) was suffering from a UTI and dehydrated. The only way I can sum up the care during his stay was cruel, demeaning & neglectful, this was more evident whilst one particular nurse was on duty! The points I would like to bring to your attention are as follows: 1. Had to repeatedly remind staff that he needed assistance with cleaning his teeth and that his dentures were to be removed at night. 2. On one afternoon his dentures were missing - I found them on the floor under the bed! the nurse apologised and blamed the cleaners. 3. On many occasions on my arrival his beaker was out of his reach & when offered a drink, it was apparent that he was really thirsty. 4. Because of point 3, his voice began to fail as his throat was so dry! 5. For four days my Sister and I requested to the nursing staff that they ask the doctor to check his hydration levels and eventually had to plead to have some iv fluids administered. 6. Dad was also constipated and my Sister & I had to ask everyday that the laxative levels were increased, the outcome of this neglect was that he only passed a stool 3 times in 10 days. 7. The 23/3/14 was the final straw, I arrived to find my Father in bed, and not very comfortable. He looked as though he had just been bundled in and was almost hanging off the bed. The lunch that was provided had hardly been touched, there was a half eaten tub of ice cream and a cold beaker of tea on his trolley (out of his reach). Dad had a notice above his bed which stated he need assistance with eating. When I asked him why he hadn't eaten his lunch he said that he had dropped the fork on the floor but had managed to eat the ice cream with a knife but he hadn't drunk the tea because it was out of his reach. I asked him if anyone had assisted him and he said no. This was brought to the attention of the nurse who brought the member of staff responsible for assisting my Father on this occasion to explain what had happened. The demeanor of this nurse towards my Father was patronising - he may be 93 but he is very intelligent and doesn't appreciate anyone other than his Daughters calling him Dad! This nurse explained that they had assisted him to eat, but that he didn't want his food, or drink, basically calling my Father a liar! They said that the reason they had put him into bed in the position I found him in was to prevent bed sores - strange how they then proceeded to move him into a more comfortable position. After expressing my concerns to the nurse responsible for care that day and explaining that I would be making an appointment to reiterate these concerns with the Ward Manager the following day, the conversation ended with one of the nurses begging me to give them another chance to put things right - not very professional or confidence building.

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Response from King George Hospital

Thank you for your comment and feedback. I am very concerned to learn about your father’s experience whilst staying at our hospital. The issues you have raised need to be investigated thoroughly, so please contact me via our PALS team on 01708 435 454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk with more details. Yours sincerely Flo Panel-Coates Director of Nursing

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