"appalling treatment of elderly patient"

About: Kettering General Hospital

My elderly mother was transferred to Kettering General Hospital on Thursday 8th May after having been referred by the Urgent Care Centre at Corby, due to the fact that she had vomited whilst there and there had been blood in this. They also conducted a rectal examination and found there to be blood here too. My mother was transferred by ambulance and we were admitted to A&E. They insisted on taking blood despite the results of blood taken in Corby were included with the transfer papers. When queried I was told that they were testing for different things - despite the symptoms being the same. The Nurse Practioner forgot to take one vial of blood -so for the fourth time that day a blood test was taken. After having an x-rays taken of her chest and abdomen - we were referred to the Surgical Registrar, who came into the cubicle,and admitted he hadn't seen the x-rays but stated that with the symptoms presenting didn't think it was his remit - and he felt that she should be referred to the Medical Team. When asked how long this would take, bearing in mind that we had been in either The Corby Urgent Care Centre and KGH since 10.00 a.m. that morning. I was told it wouldn't be long because we had reached the 4 hour deadline. We were then admitted to the Middleton Assessment Unit - I asked the Nurse who was to be dealing with my mother how long it would be before the Doctor arrived, was told that she didn't know, but they would get her settled, give her a cup of tea and some dinner - I said that due to her having vomited blood she had been nil by mouth - until this was investigated. I was told that as it was tea time, they didn't really like visitors whilst patients were eating, and that visiting was 7.30 p.m. I explained that my mother was a bit confused, and had short term memory loss - so if they had any questions to please contact me on the mobile number which was in the transfer papers. Imagine my surprise when we returned at 7.30 to be told that she would be allowed home the following day. My mother was discharged on Friday - with no further investigations having been undertaken. On Saturday we had to contact the emergency doctor service, and a doctor visited on Saturday afternoon. She advised us to request a home visit by our Practice on Monday which we did. My mother is now waiting for an emergency CT scan to try and discover what exactly is going on. Something that should have been done before she was discharged. To add insult to injury on the discharge notes it states that the patient denied having vomited blood - so the staff in MAU decided to take the word of an elderly, confused lady over that of the Doctor at Corby Urgent Care Centre. So much for KGH being a centre of excellence for the treatment of the elderly! The treatment my mother received was absolutely disgraceful - so much so that between my brothers and I we are taking time off work to care for her rather than see her re-admitted to hospital.

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your visit to the Emergency Department I am sorry that your experience was not positive and that your Mother had to have a series of tests repeated. We are working closely with our colleagues at Corby Urgent Care in order to resolve this issue and to devise pathways which will assist the patients journey. Mandy Blackman Lead Nurse - Urgent Care

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