"Stroke ward (Spruce)"

About: Barnet General Hospital

My Uncle was transferred from UCH after having a very bad stroke. Care at UCH was excellent. Barnet level of care is nothing short of negligent! Long story but we were called in to Barnet yesterday 2pm as my Uncle had a suspected heart attack. They also suspected he had an infection. We got there to find my uncle very unresponsive after he had been making good progress. He had a massive swelling on his left cheek which my mum and brother had pointed out to a nurse Wednesday evening. The nurse said they would consult a doctor to look at it. I asked to see a doctor about my uncles condition and was told the doctors are very busy in meetings and you will probably have to wait until tomorrow morning (which is this morning). I replied you cannot phone saying my uncle has had a suspected heart attack for us to come in and then tell us we have to wait for over 12 hours to speak to a doctor. We were also concerned about the swelling on his cheek which was very obvious and he flinched when we touched it. we managed to get the nurse to bleep doctors and the doctor came to see us. The doctor told us about my uncle's condition of a suspected heart attack and his temperature indicated he had an infection somewhere. We said have you seen his swollen cheek and the doctor said no. They examined my uncle and found a big puss sack inside his cheek and apologised as we said we had pointed out the swelling on Wednesday evening. there is a notice by his bed saying essential mouth care so I said to the doctor how can the nurses have missed that size of a puss sack inside his mouth if they are caring for his mouth as they should be with the swabs. The doctor apologised and said they would speak to the sister. They prescribed morphine for the pain and antibiotics and got two ear, nose and throat specialists down to check as well. The look on their faces was shock! The doctor said they still suspected my uncle has had a heart attack. However we think his condition is down to the terrible abscess and a heart attack is a red herring to cover up for missing such an obvious swelling on my uncles face and the internal obvious signs of a serious infection. I also witnessed a nurse in the adjoining ward treating a patient with lack of care feeding him when he was managing fine on his own, if a bit slowly so the nurse whipped the spoon from him and shovelled it into him laughing and joking with a colleague and then yanked the plastic bib off him jolting him forward. I quietly mentioned this to the sister. I am on my way there soon, and ignoring visiting times. If you have an elderly relative who cannot speak up for themselves, I advise you to be there as much as you can and don't be afraid to speak up if you are concerned. If you want to see a doctor, tell the nurse to bleep one and they cannot refuse. My mum has been in and out with hip revision problems and we had to constantly flag up inadequate care so my uncle is not a "one off" case but, whereas my mum could tell us about problems, my uncle cannot!

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Response from Barnet General Hospital

We're sorry to hear about your experience and would like to look into it further. We would be grateful if you could please email rf.communications@nhs.net with further details so that we can investigate. Thanks.

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