"failure in care and poor clinical practice"

About: Lancaster / Lancaster Social Services Royal Lancaster Infirmary / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My grandfather has experienced appalling poor quality care with repeated admissions and failed discharges. The concerns relate to numerous failings from admission to discharge. The continuity of care in this locality is severely lacking. We have complained via pals and received a courtesy contact with no further follow up. However the issues require further investigation if this organisation is to implement its new quality improvement plan and listen to its patients and their carers.

My grandfather has not been treated with dignity and has received both poor care and to my mind possible clinical negligence.

He was admitted for a cardiac condition and discharged to home without any investigation of social circumstances, with a chest infection - he is 90, in poor health and was carer for his wife of 64 years with dementia. Because of the poor discharge circumstances this has meant my grandmother is now in a home. My grandfather was then told by a physician at a routine out-patient appointment, which he waited over 2 hours to be seen, that he was discharged from respiratory care. He has COPD . He was spoken to in a manner that in our opinion fails equality and diversity laws and almost amounts to blatant age discrimination. He was shown no compassion about his recent experience and coming to terms with his wife now living in a home. Despite sharing this information with the physician he was asked rudely why he wasn't in a home. This was said twice.

Since then we have had numerous needs to call out for an untreated chest infection until a couple of weeks ago. He was finally readmitted via the GP but still had to wait in A&E over 4 hours to be admitted. He is now on home oxygen and has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in addition to COPD - less than a month from the outpatient appointment review. As I write this he may have been readmitted or discharged following review by the community matron who arranged for x-rays and tests querying PE. Whilst an inpatient over the Summer he was informed of his terminal condition on his own with no information other than a gold standards framework leaflet. The family were not informed despite asking staff daily.

The discharge meeting was arranged without the family being involved other than a phone call giving 15 minutes notice. My grandfather had not told us about his condition. I found the leaflet yesterday and we learned the horror of his latest experience. He has had no specific support regarding end of life care since being told this news because of the apparent complete lack of care from the organisation.

We look forward to your response from a family who have now got first hand experience of the failings of the health and social care system of this locality after providing full time care for 4 months.

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Response from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry that your grandfather’s experience at our hospital wasn’t what you would expect and are very keen to investigate. Please would you contact our Patient Relations team on 01539 795497 who will work with you to resolve the issues surrounding his care.