"My mother's diabetic consultant ..."

About: Tameside General Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

My mother's diabetic consultant whose care was excellent and she is most pleased with.

The ward sister on the cardiac ward where my mother spent 1 week- a wonderful nurse let down by the hospital in which she works.

What could be improved

-Cleanliness/hygeine: observed a nurse not washing hands and going from bed to bed giving injections

-Communication: despite my mother being admitted for caridiac problems a consultant who came to speak us (only after we complained about lack of info) did not even know that she had had 2 previous heart attacks- this despite our repeatedly telling the staff this. A chilling insight into the history taking here.

-Bed side manner: When my mother asked if she could be given different antibiotics and stronger anti-sickness medication another consultant told my mother that she should not worry about her debilitating nausea and that her heart was the main problem- i quote- 'it's very serious, you're very sick i am sorry you thought you were getting better'. He poceeded to waltz off leaving my mother with no further advice/explanation and feeling that she was going to die at any moment. The damage he caused was immeasurable and he later apologised.

The food: disgrace even within the normal allowances made for hospital food. We had to bring in pasta for my mum- as a diabetic the menu choices she faced were very, very poor.

Dignity: Elderly patients on my mothers ward left to scream for help going to the toilet/water/pain relief.

Follow up: Depsite the hyperbolic assessment by the cardiology consultant on MAAU my mother was never invited for an angiogram as follow up. She has taken this up now with her own GP on the express understanding she will NOT return to tameside.

MAU: My mum was left here for 8 days under fluorescent strip lights and trying to recover from surgery and a heart attack in a busy admissions ward with no peace. Embarrassingly, at this point i saw

a new nurse being shown around the MAU with the words 'patients can stay here for up to 72 hours'. We had to laugh.

Bedding: had to use dressing gown to keep warm

On the day my mum left tameside she got a call to ask that 'if she had a needle in her arm could she please return to the hospital'. Shocking

Anything else?

There were few bright points in our joint experience of Tameside Hospital.

I felt i was in an entirely helpless situtation. I am a future medical student and currently work for the NHS too. I have to say that there is a daunting amount of work to be done here.

My mother will not return there.

I am sorry if these comments do not consitute constructive criticism but i hope they help in that they are an utterly honest and full reflection of our experience.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Tameside General Hospital

Thank you for raising these comments. Although some aspects of your mother's care were satisfactory, there were clearly a number of areas which fell below the standard you and your mother had a right to expect. Naturally I will raise with the staff concerned the issues which you have raised so that these matters can be investigated further. In some cases, this will have to be in a generic way, unless you feel able to share your mother's identity with me (philip.dylak@tgh.nhs.uk).

I am sorry you have had cause to raise these issues, and hope you will also convey my apologies to your mother.

Philip Dylak


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