"Power of Attorney - whh bother when it is ignored."

About: Torbay Hospital

Having taken steps early in her old age, to ensure a Power of Attorney, Health and Welfare, registered and approved by the court of protection, was in place for my elderly mother, in my experience when it was required it was totally ignored. The Power of Attorney was registered and a copy, along with a copy of the passport of the Attorney holder, were lodged in the patient's ward file. When it came to decisions about her care however, the ward sister did not know a P.o.A. existed; and presumed to make decisions on behalf of my mother without consulting anyone, this in spite of the fact that there was a family member present at the patient bedside at the time. We are encouraged to get involved in decision making but this is not possible if arrogant staff do not abide, even by the tenor let alone, the letter of the law. "Be involved in Decisions about your Care is an axiom of this hospitals policy. Which then goes on to stress the need to get family mambers or carers involed. Sadly with a huge ward, just 25 beds, the wrd sister chose not to read the file or to ignore it's content.

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Response from Torbay Hospital

Dear Relative, We are very sorry to hear about your experience and that the standard of your mothers care fell below that which we strive to provide. If you would like the opportunity to discuss your experience, please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) so they can look into your situation in more detail. A PALS Officer is available in person, Monday to Friday, between 10.00am and 2.00pm. You can contact them by calling 01803 655838 or on our 24 hour freephone number 0800 02 82 037. If you get through to the voicemail service please leave your contact details and you will receive a call back within two working days. PALS can also be contacted by Text Phone on 01803 654742, by FAX on 01803 617162, or via email to sdhc@nhs.net (your email will go direct to our PALS Service). We look forward to hearing from you so that we can address the issues you have raised. Kind regards South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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