"Better care for the elderly"

About: Royal Preston Hospital / Fell View transitional ward Royal Preston Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My relative is 87years old, and she needed a hip operation, which could not be performed until her chest infection had improved. The chest infection lasted over a week and she was fighting for her life at the Royal Preston Hospital. However, she did receive excellent care and professionalism round the clock on ward 14. She was there for three weeks and then was better, so could undergo the hip operation.

Unfortunately, at this point, everything went wrong. There was an infection on the ward, which had spread to ward 16. The doctors suspected that she could have caught it, so she was put into a side ward on her own and ignored quite a lot. She did not receive the care she needed. She is blind so finds many things problematic, but did not receive proper care to assist her with drinking, which resulted in dehydration making her poorly. The staff just seemed so busy; it was as if my mother had been forgotten. It seems once you’re not critical, the care goes down but the frail and elderly need looking after.

She was then transferred to a rehab centre at Preston Hospital at Fell View ward. This was a small unit and was used for people who have had strokes to rehabilitate them in between hospital and going home. She was lucky to get a place here, as there was no care home available for a couple of weeks. The care there was excellent, as they got her walking again. She has been managing to go to the toilet. The staff are open, warm and friendly. However, from the time she went into hospital on 28/01/09 till she was admitted to rehab in March, she was not given a bath nor had her hair washed. At Fell View ward she was given a bath and had her hair washed everyday. Funding for this ward has stopped now, which is a shame. The nurses kept her alive and helped her to fight to live on all wards but when she passed critical stage one could be rejected and left. My mother had altogether two weeks in rehab. All the nurses are really good but are under staffed and there are no wards for elderly people to be looked after.

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