"Lack of basic care in Leeds"

About: St James's University Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My Mum (aged 90 and suffering from severe short-term memory loss and breast cancer) was admitted to SJUH (Chancellor Wing) last year following bouts of severe diarrhoea. She was put on a drip for a couple of days and the improvement was dramatic although she was still very weak and couldn't get out of bed without assistance.

However, she was then moved to Beckett Wing. Although the staff were nice it was obvious that the ward was short-staffed because each mealtime my Mum's meal was left on the table at the side of her bed (where she couldn't reach it) and was collected 'untouched' by the ward assistants. At no time did anyone make a note that my Mum wasn't eating or drinking.

My family and I went in daily and managed to help her eat and, more importantly, drink. She then developed a chest infection and it wasn't until I got bolshy and asked what the hospital policy was on treating elderly patients, that she had any treatment - she was put on a nebuliser in the middle of the night - emergency treatment which should not have been necessary had the infection been treated immediately instead of being left for five days.

At one point, a relative visited and then rang me and said "What have they done to her?". It was all very distressing and we were pleased to be able to get my Mum into a wonderful Nursing Home where she died a month later.

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Response from Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Leeds PCT

Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. I was sorry to hear about the loss of your mother and also very sorry to hear about the experience your mother had whilst she was in hospital.

But I am pleased to hear that your mum was well looked after by the staff in the nursing home.

I shall pass your comments onto the Patient Relations Manager at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Thank you once again for sharing your comments with us.

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