"Lack of care and consideration for my husband"

About: East Of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust / Patient transport Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / Older people's healthcare West Suffolk Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My late husband was a patient in the above Ward between 22 and 30 with another male patient. The first day I visited him, no-one had been in to see them since first thing when my husband had been put in a chair. When I spoke to staff at the desk they made me feel a nuisance and both my husband and I were very upset at the apparent lack of care and attention. The men felt very isolated and would have welcomed a friendly face and enquiry as to how they were.

The sign above the Ward name indicates that this particular ward is purely for the elderly – not something of which patients would necessarily want reminding; surely a more friendly description could be found?

They would not commit themselves as to when he would be able to come home but suddenly I received a telephone call to say he was being brought home by ambulance. I was not at all impressed by the way in which my husband was treated on this occasion. Firstly the ambulance pulled up in the street beyond our house and he had to walk back along the road in his pyjamas, no dressing gown or blanket round him. There was not wheelchair provided – a necessity in his condition I would have thought. The ambulance staff were very cavalier in their attitude to a very sick gentleman, 82 years old and unable to walk unaided.

In fact my husband died in early August 2014 in West Suffolk Hospital where the care for him and also me, could not be faulted.

A minor but annoying event was the loss of a dressing gown and pyjama bottoms whilst in Elsing Ward. Having unsuccessfully tried to find them, again it was the attitude that upset me; the cost was irrelevant but it showed a lack of care and consideration.

I would appreciate your comments as soon as possible.

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Response from Marian Burgess, Patient Services Facilitator, East Of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

I am sorry that you have had cause to raise concerns about the East of England Ambulance Service. I would like to investigate the concerns that you have raised and would be grateful if could email eoeasnt.feedback@nhs.net with the date and location we attended so that we can track the crew involved and begin our investigation.

Please accept my sincere condolances for your sad loss of your husband.

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Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to hear about your experience at our hospital and the lack of attention for your late husband. We would like to offer our condolences and thank you for providing your feedback at a difficult time. We will ensure it is passed to the matron for older people's medicine.

If you would like to speak to someone about what happened, we would be pleased to make the arrangements. Please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service at pals@nnuh.nhs.uk

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