"my mother who has dementia"

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital

My mother was placed on ward 8 on 2 separate occasions for lengthy periods. I observed the staff on duty as having not enough time to spend with patients who required a high level of one to one care, due to the anxiety and confusion such patients with dementia required. for example meal times, often patients required feeding. by the time a nurse was free, the meal was cold and when patients buzzed for help I observed on many occasions patients having to wait a long time before being seen to, often consequently the patient was then saturated in urine, making the nurses time not spent with the initial problem but having to spend time cleaning up the mess. usually this required 2 staff. However despite being in my opinion understaffed ,I found the staff , very patient , calm supportive and respectful , although communication with staff regarding my mothers progress was with each staff /Doctors varied and disjointed as though 'the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. My family had to chase up procedures that were promised and at times staff were unsure as to why it hadn't happened . I have nothing but praise for the caring attitude of most of the staff on this ward but to ensure a level of good quality care it is my opinion that they are very understaffed .and lacked clear communication with each other on patient developments . In saying what I have said my mother, although challenging with her dementia , staff were patient and caring with her and tried hard to ensure she was content and safe when family was not present , they are an asset to the ward. I felt it was just a case of better communication , perhaps training and ward management and staffing that needed tweeking . I have nothing but praise for the nursing staff on ward 8b Could I also comment on the smokers ,quite often patients who sit outside the front entrance of the hospital , with drips, wheelchair bound and in gowns , I understand that hygiene is top priority along with health and safety , the grounds belong to the NHS I presume , can they not do anything about this situation as it is my opinion that this does nothing for the profile of the Hospital and having to walk through this 'gang' of smoking public having hospital treatment on a daily basis is not a good advert for the hospital presentation , along with going through such unhealthy passage into the hospital , is there nothing the trust could change about this ? Thank you

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Response from Royal Blackburn Hospital

Dear Anonymous Many thanks for your feedback on your experience of our ward B8 service, and thank-you for taking the time to do so; I will make sure your concerns are passed onto the relevant team and their managers. I will also pass on your comments about the smoking in the hospital areas to the estates manager and appreciate your thoughts on how this looks to people entering the site. I am very sorry to hear that your recent experience with us around your mother's care wasn't what you expected as we always strive to deliver safe, personal & effective care; and whilst some of the elements you describe clearly meet this, others very much do not. If you would like to talk through your visit to us with one of our Patient Experience team so we can understand the bits of the care given that made this such a poor experience for you and your mother we would really value this so that we can try to improve things for every patient visiting our hospitals and services. Staff on the wards do value feedback in order to work on areas that need improvement, and we encourage relatives and patients alike to be involved if they are able to support us in this- this can be something as simple as commenting via email on work areas. If you feel you may have some time you could spare to do this please could you contact me (Wendy Stobbs) on 01254 734471 or email me on wendy.stobbs@elht.nhs.uk? Or if you prefer you can discuss further any concerns you may have about our services with our Customer Relations team on 01254 733700 or complaints@elht.nhs.uk who can advise you of your options in raising these concerns further. Once again many thanks for taking the time to comment it is appreciated, and best wishes to you and your mother Wendy Stobbs, Patient Experience Facilitator

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