About: Castle Hill Hospital / Older people's healthcare Hull Royal Infirmary

(as a relative),

My mum was admitted into Castle Hill hospital in March 2008 with a pulled/wrenched muscle in her thigh. This was complicated by the fact that both of her hips had been replaced in previous years, and the opposite hip to the muscular problem periodically dislocated due to a bone being cracked during the replacement operation. Ward 5, were she was, seemed seriously understaffed to the point of mum trying to make it to the toilet unaided (she didn't make it most of the time due to pain) and I do not know of her receiving any assistance getting dressed or putting on support socks to avoid leg ulcers. After 2 weeks 'care' she was discharged. I tried to care for her whilst working full time, running a home myself, and also having serious personal problems at the time. During the next two weeks, her health deteriorated, to the point were she was always tired, and in agony with her back, and generally disorientated. She also had other health complications including having had quite a major stroke in June 2007, angina etc.. She slipped out of a chair, screaming with pain, and an ambulance was called. The A & E doctor knew there was something wrong due to the amount of pain mum was in. After 24 hours of tests, they diagnosed Discitis, which was a major infection in the discs in her lower back, and if left untreated with long term anitbiotics would leave her paralysed. She was admitted. Approximately one week later, they also diagnosed M.R.S.A., which I was told they thought that she'd contracted whilst in Ward 5. They did say they would look into this, but I was never told anything. Then began 11 weeks of drug therapy to try and fight the infections. Mum began to deteriorate, and 3 weeks later had a massive unexplained bleed, where she nearly died. They managed to bring her back, and transferred her to Hull Royal Infirmary to give her a blood transfusion. During her stay at Hull Royal she was put onto an ordinary mattress instead of a pressure mattress where she developed a bed sore. She was transferred back to Castle Hill hospital. They continued to treat mum, but the bed sore became a large hole in her back, and the drug therapy made her excrement acidic which burned into her every time she went to the loo. Also during this time, her 'dodgy' hip dislocated 3 times, and she was put into traction, so had to just go to the loo in her bed (which went into the open sore) and I understand they would clean her up afterwards. They transferred her twice to relocate her hip, but during this time due to being bed bound her muscles deteriorated, and she was by this time too weak to have her hip put her back in because they thought she wasn't strong enough for the aneasthetic. They also tried to find out what had caused the major bleed, but she was too weak for most of the tests. She began to refuse food, cleaning, water, and drugs, and I was told that the infections brought on acute dementia. So after long and agonising 11 weeks, mum died. Eight days after her 73rd birthday, with a dislocated hip, frail, a hole in her back, in traction, and not knowing who we were. It felt like we sat and watched her rot. The staff in Ward 21 (I think it was) did everything they could to make her comfortable. Why did she get MRSA, which given all her other complications, killed her I believe. Had she had another stroke, or heart attack, maybe it would have been a slightly more acceptable death for a woman who worked hard, and yes played hard during her life.

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Response from Engagement Section Assistant, NHS Hull

Dear Rosina Thank you for placing your posting on the Patient Opinion website. We were so sorry to hear of your mother’s death in such difficult circumstances. The Trust strives to provide high quality care at all times to all patients and is therefore disappointed to hear about the negative experience both you and your mother have received. The Trust is keen to continually improve services provided to its patients and therefore is keen to learn from any patient experience whether it is good or bad. We would welcome you making contact with Jackie Wileman, PALS Officer, 01482 623065 in order that we may investigate your story further and provide you with some answers to your question. In addition, if we can be of any help in identifying some support to help you come to terms with the loss of your mother, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or on (01482) 335409 Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us to relay your experiences.
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