"Dignity, respect and basic care"

About: St Mary's Hospital

Dignity and respect shown to patients has been lost at this hospital in all departments, especially when dealing with elderly and vulnerable patients. Unfortunately two of my elderly relatives have had to spend time as both an out- patient and in -patient. In both cases basic care was neglected, such as ensuring teeth had been cleaned, this was not done for four days causing severe pain in my relative's mouth, leaving her hospital gown untied whilst sat in a chair leaving her totally exposed for all to see, this happened on more than one occasion even though it was reported to the ward sister and nightdresses had been supplied. Gluten free food is not available either on wards or in the hospital's cafe, which is an essential for Coeliac disease sufferers. One of my relative's was allowed to get so dehydrated that her blood pressure collapsed and despite informing staff at all stages of admission there was no food available for her due to her Coeliac condition, we had to take food in for her. When attending out-patient appointments there are lengthy delays with no explanations or apologises, in one clinic we waited over two hours to see the Consultant. It is very rare that you will see the same Doctor/Consultant for on-going appointments, therefore affecting continuity of care, which in the case of one of my relatives has had serious consequences as a re- occurrence of cancer was not diagnosed. When you are called, staff shout out your full name in an often in a very busy waiting room as though you are a piece of meat in a cattle market, not having sought permission to use your given name which is disrespectful especially for elderly patients. The appointment system is not fit for purpose especially in the eye department and despite the Consultant's instructions you very often have to wait many month's after the stated length of time for an appointment and they don't send an appointment unless you constantly remind them or as in one case we arrived for an appointment only to be told it had been cancelled two weeks before but they didn't think to let us know. The above are just some of the failings I have witnessed in the last 2 years, despite using the "so called complaints procedure" and promises made by senior executives nothing has changed. Unfortunately living on the Island we have no choice but to use St Mary's as travelling to the mainland is not an option for my elderly relatives.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback, and I was very disappointed to read of the experience that you have had in respect of your relatives, and this is not the standard of care the Trust aspires to deliver. As this post is anonymous it is very difficult to comment on individual cases, but I have shared your comments with senior staff responsible for delivery inpatient and outpatient care, as well as the lead for catering services. The Trust does provide Gluten free food on both the wards, and within the restaurant. Having recognised that more people require gluten free products, they are currently looking to expand the range available to patients, visitors and staff. I would like to assure that work is underway to look at reducing clinic delays and ensuring that where delays do unfortunately occur patients are kept fully informed. The valuable feedback you have shared will be cascaded to all teams in the Trust to ensure we are learning from this to improve the patient experience. If you would like to disucss this in more detail please contact the Quality Team on 01983 534850, and thank you once again for taking the time to give us this valuable feedback.

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