"Poor stroke care for my mother"

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

The medical care on the Stroke Unit is poor. My Mother has rarely seen a doctor and when she has they have failed to help her and we as a family asked to see a doctor, the young doctor appeared clueless.

There are some excellent nurses on the unit, but also some bad ones. Overall there seems to be a shortage of nurses, so that it takes ages for them to answer, such that on one occasion I got so fed up with nurses walking into the bay and ignoring me and my Mother's bell I had to lift my Mother to bed myself and to take her to the toilet.

When the nurses do answer, their usual response is they are busy and will come back which they rarely do. That is not the level of care that someone in their 80's deserves.

Her saviours have been the therapists who seem genuinely caring and have tried best to help her.

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Response from Stroke Association

We noticed your post and thought you may be interested to hear about the work of the Stroke Association and how we may be able to support you. Stroke Association is the leading charity in the UK changing the world for people affected by stroke.

Our Stroke Helpline is there for anyone who has been affected by stroke in any way. You may want to know more about stroke and its effects, be looking for practical information and support, or simply someone to talk to. The Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100. You can also email us at info@stroke.org.uk. We also have a range of services across the UK, providing information, advice and support to stroke survivors and their families. You can find out if there is a service in your area by contacting the Helpline.

We were sorry to hear of your mother’s stroke and that you feel she is not receiving good care. If you are still unhappy, it may be helpful to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS is an independent organisation, there to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible. The PALS department in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital is on the Ground Floor along the East Wing. Alternatively, you can contact them on 01202 704886.

Finally, you can also find lots of information about stroke on our website at www.stroke.org.uk. You can read about our services, read or listen to other people’s experiences and download all of our publications free of charge. There is news about our campaigns to improve services for stroke survivors, national and local events and our research programmes. You can also join the Talkstroke discussion group where you can share your experiences with other people who have been affected by stroke.

I hope that this is helpful and that your mother is now getting the support that she needs to make the best recovery possible.

Stroke Information Service


Stroke Association staff are not medically trained and the information provided does not replace information given to you by your own healthcare provider.

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Response from Sue Mellor, Patient Experience Lead, Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear ‘Doctor1’

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us

We take your comments very seriously and thus the delay in response.

We have spoken with the senior departmental managers and naturally they are disappointed to note the care for yourselves did not reach expectations

I am sincerely sorry that you felt your mother’s care on the Stroke Unit was poor. We have a dedicated team of doctors who review all patients on the Stroke Unit daily. Our Consultants perform ward rounds twice daily (Monday to Friday), and all patients are seen at least once a week by their Consultant. If you felt that the doctor you spoke to was unable to give you the information you required, the Stroke Consultants would have been available for you to speak to on request.

With regards to your comments about a shortage of nurses on the ward, the Stroke Unit has recently undergone a nurse staffing review in line with recommendations from the Royal College of Nursing, with further investment in staffing levels. We currently have no investigations on the ward. The Stroke Team is always striving to offer the best possible care to their patients and relatives, and I will ensure that your comments are discussed with the Ward Sister and her team.

I hope this reassures you that all our patients are seen regularly. As a Trust we are also educating our staff on the importance of compassionate care at every patient touch point and hope that if your Mother does return you will see a marked improvement in her experience

Hope this goes in some small way to resolving the issues that you highlighted and would recommend you speak with PALs if you would like to discuss further on 01202 704886.


Sue Mellor

Head of patient Experience

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Update posted by Doctor1 (a relative)

To Sue Mellor

Head of Patient Experience.

Thank you for your response to my comment

It may be that the standard of care for the doctors on the Stroke Unit is to review all patients daily but in my experience this standard was frequently not achieved. I would suggest to find evidence for this that you visit the ward and ask every patient, every day for the next week or audit the patient's notes for the dated and timed entries that should be recorded following each contact that a doctor has with their patient. If you really want to know the facts.

And in my experience, if you wish to speak to a consultant, you are told to contact his secretary to book an appointment which is no help when your relative is distressed there and then.

You also state that consultants do ward rounds Monday to Friday so do strokes not occur at weekends?

I would also suggest that if you feel there is no problem with the nurses you send someone to be a "secret visitor" and see how long it takes to get a nurse to respond to a call bell first thing in the morning or in the evenings or how many "I'm busy" responses you get. I think you may change your mind.

Regards, Doctor1