"Poor care for my father-in-law in ward 10B"

About: Southport & Formby District General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My father in law is an elderly gentleman of 95, and was sent to hospital from his care home with foot infections and was admitted to ward 10B. The staff on the ward initially settled him in and he seemed quite happy, but after a few days his health deteriorated. On the 12th Feb we visited to find he had not been fed for two days according to his food chart, on asking staff no one seemed to know why other than a statement from a nurse (he is nil by mouth i think). On discussing this with the ward sister, she was unaware of this and we got a “sorry i didn’t know” (yes he should have been fed). After this incident his health, when fed, improved considerably. On visiting again other issues with his and other peoples care on the ward were obvious to me (the ward at the time was under staffed due to the critical care required for a number of patients)

Our main issue at this time was that he was left with no clothes on his lower body, with a pillow between his legs and he was covered in his own dirt. I requested for him to be cleaned on visiting and it was done right away, but the same evening my sister in law had to clean him as no staff available.

On discussing these issues with the nurse on duty her statement was, “we are not allowed to complain about staff shortages, we have been told just get on with it and muddle through”. My father in law was not capable of walking or talking had open wounds on both wrists covered with bandages when discharged 11/3/09 to a nursing home and sadly died less than 48 hours later.

I am disappointed with the performance of certain hospital staff particularly doctors (Consultant) who never discussed any of his issues during his months stay in hospital. Having complained about my fathers stay in hospital 3 years ago and he sadly died in ward 14B, a number of concerns i raised at the time and told they had been action clearly have not. This does not give me any confidence of NHS care policies being adhered to within this hospital.

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Response from Matthew King

Dear AKJ,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments about the care received by your father in law. We are clearly concerned when patients or relatives identify areas where the care they have received from us is not up to a standard they would expect as we want to learn from such experiences.

However, while you raise a number of concerns in your posting it is difficult to answer these thoroughly without more details such as the name of your father in law and when he was admitted to the ward. If you would like to write to our Chief Executive with more details a full investigation of your comments will take place.

In the meantime the Matron and staff of ward 10B have been made aware of your comments.

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