"Hospital needs to find a way to communicate"

About: Hereford County Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My father-in-law is in Hereford Hospital since last Sunday. He is 85. Since his wife died a year ago he has insisted that he wants to stay in his home, so we have arranged for visiting nurses. For several months they have been "caring" for his wounds. Our daughter, his grand-daughter, lives in Surrey and visits him every other week-end. She has been supervising his care, sparing no cost. She has trusted the professionals to keep her informed. The Social Worker told her he had stage 4 wounds. She did not know what that meant, but supposed that he was receiving treatment.

He was rushed to Hereford last weekend for reasons of a suspected stroke. At that time it was discovered that his wounds had reached bone. He is dying, slowly, of a heart problem and NOW of wounds that have been improperly treated. Worse still, he was to have surgery today to removed dead skin, but it has been postponed because the two different group scheduled to work with him "don't communicate well with each other," so both wanted to take his blood, and while the second one was waiting for that, the surgery was postponed. Then our daughter was told he needed a transfusion, but they didn't manage to do that today either.

This man has suffered, is suffering. We should have known about the gravity of his sores - in lay person's terms, and they should have been addressed a long time ago. And if they intend to do surgery, then they should do it and find a way to "communicate" to get it done.

Our daughter is afraid to complain to anyone; for fear that the visiting nurses might take it out on him. This is of course always a concern. But someone needs to know and to insist on better care so that old folks don't suffer more than they need to. Those wounds should have been addresses before they go to stage 4. Imagine how we feel watching him suffer, having no control over his care, and not knowing what "they" have planned for him. No one has discussed options with our daughter. If the anesthetic is likely to kill him - as one person told her - then are there options? Can he be made comfortable and allowed to die in peace at home?

Surely there is a better way to do things.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››