"Appalling care in stroke unit"

About: Eastbourne District General Hospital

My mother in law was transferred to the 'specialist' stroke unit from the conquest in March, after suffering from a bleed on the brain She was initially admitted to East Dean Ward. It was several days before a doctor was available to speak to and we were still kept waiting in excess of half an hour whilst she was doing paperwork 10 feet away. She eventually took us to a private room to discuss what was going to happen, short and long term. She was then moved to Sovereign Ward, where the level of care diminished with every passing week of her stay. The stroke left her doubley incontinent and on more than one occasion we arrived to find her laying in a soiled pad and had to inform staff, who still didn't come to attend to her. She was moved to isolation during one of our visits. We were informed at the time this was due to a loose stool that morning. This was then contradicted the following day. A member of staff then came in without an apron or gloves. Infection control, what a joke, the only infection control I saw was being told of for sitting on the bed because I didn't have a clue where to get a chair from. The protective glove that she was sick on was still being used over a week later and only removed because we pointed it out. On another visit we found her laying in her own vomit. We informed staff who then came and removed the pillowcase, leaving us to put a clean one on ourselves, and placed a towel on the wet area of the bed. Is this acceptable??? We arrived on a Friday to find her bags all packed. I enquired why, to be told she was due to be discharged. Although this didn't happen because she was still being sick, I am flabbergasted that the family were not informed of their intentions. The day before her dischsrge, we arrived to find her soiled night wear on the chair with her packed bag. This is appalling!!! It is a relief she is no longer in your care.

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Response from Eastbourne District General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your mother-in-law's experience of the Stroke Unit at Eastbourne District General Hospital. We are deeply concerned and saddened to hear about the poor standard of care you describe. In response to this we would like to advise you that your posting was immediately forwarded to the Ward Matron and Head of Nursing responsible for the Stroke Unit. The Ward Matron and Head of Nursing would welcome the opportunity to discuss your mother-in-law's experience with you in more detail so that they can gather further information and address the issues promptly and effectively. If you would like to do this, please make contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS can be contacted by phone 01323 435886, by email PALSE@esht.nhs.uk , or in person by dropping in between 9am – 4pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located in the main entrance opposite the WRVS Coffee Shop. We would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

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