"Concerns about my partner's care at Tameside General Hospital"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Diabetic medicine

(as a staff member posting for a carer/relative),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public. We have their details and will forward any comments to them, as they do not have an email address. They said…

“Since the end of June, my civil partner, who has been at home for only four days in this period, has been twice admitted (by ambulance, at my request – once at four in the morning) to our local hospital with a liver condition, caused by diabetes and/or alcohol. So far, he has had over thirty litres of abdominal fluid removed (on four separate occasions) and has been put through so many different tests to ensure that he was medically fit. He has given so much blood that I joke that he must be on the Dracula ward. He and I have been most frustrated at his not being discharged after almost 6 weeks, in his second stay, especially when he sees fellow ward-dwellers being discharged in, seemingly, far worse/more fragile states. He has absolutely hated being in hospital, being treated like a child, having no stimulation, with an unchanging, most boring, daily menu. He requested to speak to the catering manager, but has had no response. I, almost daily, take in things for him to eat – to offer some variety. The hospital has been on “special measures” (that is, failing) for several years now. The latest report from the inspectorate says that the hospital is “inadequate”, especially regarding patient care. Don’t I know it! Ward staff have the remarkable ability not to see you, while looking directly at you, and taking an age to carry out any request for help.

It has been most challenging to find out what has been actually going on, because I hardly ever see the same faces two days running on my partner’s ward and I have been told so many different prognoses/stories. I have, politely, foot-stamped, demanding information, but to little/no avail. I couldn’t speak to his consultant, despite telephoning his secretary to ask for a face-to-face meeting, or telephone consultation. On one occasion, I managed to have my partner deemed medically fit to be referred to a local, intermediate care hospital, to get him mobile, that is, with physio treatment. However, he was there for only three nights, before being referred back to our local hospital for further abdominal drainage and tests. His possessions were kept by the intermediate care hospital, in the hope and belief that he might return within the 48 hours, for which his bed was reserved. I only hoped so. However, because he was kept in our local hospital for more than forty-eight hours, I had to go to the intermediate care hospital to fetch his things.

As I write, my partner is still in hospital. I keep asking what I consider to be key staff relevant questions to be less informed than when I started the process. It is most frustrating and irritating. Even contacting PALS seems a fruitless experience, as I have found on the occasions I have contacted it.

P. S. I contacted PALS again after having written this. The person I spoke to was most helpful and forthcoming. ”

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