"My father was admitted via A&E ..."

About: Frimley Park Hospital (Frimley)

(as a relative),

What I liked

My father was admitted via A&E and was put on a ward reasonably quickly. Main areas such as the toilets, lobby, etc were pretty clean. Plus there were lots of infection control measures such as alcohol gel dispensers and information posters/leaflets. I've read several comments on FPH, and my conclusion is that they do have very good pre/post op, maternity, A&E and out patient departments. What I found personally is that the general wards and care of the elderly leaves a lot to be desired.

What could be improved

My dad came in with a chest infection and then developed cellulitus in his foot whilst in hospital. He is handicapped and the care of someone with additional physical problems seemed beyond the capabilities of the staff most of the time. Whilst on the ward he seriously hurt his toe getting out of bed, pretty much ripping off the nail totally. The wound was not even cleaned during his entire stay(2weeks), the dressing changed only once. I had to clean it when he was discharged. The staff were extremely inconsiderate of his requests for a commode rather than the cardboard jugs, even though he clearly could not use them properly. Even then the nurses took so long fetching the toilet that he frequently soiled himself, something he never does at home. There was also a great lack of communication, either because the staff were not fluent in english or because the staff weren't talking to each other. Frequently you would ask for something and be told that you were 'speaking to the wrong person' and had to wander off to find a different nurse, even if it was a simple request like another jug of water or the commode. This was the reason put forward for not doing anything about his foot - it was podiatry's problem, and they only come once a week so tough luck! All this was exacerbated by the fact that they seemed very understaffed, and stressed because of it. My dad rarely saw the same set of doctors, and the head of the ward was rarely there. He came home not really knowing what medication he was taking or why, depressed and humiliated. My father is only in his early 60's, does not have dementia and is very mentally alert so all this is whilst he was telling the nurses the best way to care for him, and asking questions about his care. He now distrusts the healthcare system so much I worry that he will not phone an ambulance next time he needs one.

Anything else?

The general medical ward that my dad was on was clearly just overflow from geriatric wards - apart from my dad not one person seemed to be under 75! Although some nurses were very caring others would become quickly irritated by patients with dementia. The man next to my dad was actually barracaded into his bed with furniture to stop him wandering off, and my dad often had to alert the staff when he got out because they were not monitoring him enough. Another man was vividly hallucinating and becoming very distressed, and staff did not seem at all bothered. Also the 'patientline' entertainment system is a complete rip off, and an abuse of vunerable people. the minimum credit is £5, but the price per day for just tv is only 2.80 - i.e. for 2 days stay you pay £10! In addition to this the costs to call the bedside phone from a UK landline is extortionate. Sao poorer patients with long term stays are effectively isolated, bored, and lonely. Overall I was pretty horrified.

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Response from Frimley Park Hospital

Thank you for your comments. We are sorry that the service your father received did not appear to be up to the standard we expect. You raised a number of issues you were not happy with and we would very much like to look into these further. It would be very valuable to us if you could contact the trust directly via our Patient Advice and Liaison Service Manager on 01276 526530, email palsusers@fph-tr.nhs.uk to discuss them in more detail. If you do we hope that we will be able to find out exactly why aspects of your father’s care fell below our normal standards and address them.

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