"Care of an older person with dementia in an acute ward"

About: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Trauma and Orthopaedics

(as a relative),

My mother in law has vascular dementia. She recently fell and broke her hip and also suffered a heart attack immediately afterwards. She was admitted to an orthopaedic ward for a partial hip replacement. I was distressed to note that nobody made any attempt to ensure she was given adequate assistance with oral fluids. They were often left out of reach, I noticed this also happened to the other women in the bay. Her cup of tea was frequently still sitting on the table when we visited because she was unable to recognise a beaker with a lid as she was used to a cup and saucer. Activities were done to her without explanation causing her to jump with surprise or fear.

She complained of chest pain and breathlessness on several occasions and was given an ECG which was apparently normal. The pain was put down to indigestion. She was discharged from hospital nine days post operatively. The following day she again had chest pain and breathlessness and she was re-admitted with a gastric bleed (from the aspirin) and a severe chest infection. I regret to say that my impression of care on this ward was very poor.

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Response from Customer Relations and Feedback Team, NHS Lothian

Dear Bothered

I am extremely sorry to read your post and for the clear distress this has caused you. I immediately forwarded your post on to the relevant Clinical Management Team for their information.

I would be grateful for the opportunity to investigate this matter further. If you would like me to arrange for this to be investigated could you please contact the Customer Relations and Feedback Team on 0131 536 3370, email craft@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk or write to Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG with your details and those of your mother-in-law to allow us to investigate and provide a full response.

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback.

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