"Wrong decision made to send Mum home !!"

About: Dorset County Hospital

Mum was admitted for emergency surgery 3 weeks ago for a perforated duodenal ulcer. Surgery went well and was kept on HDU for 3 days. During this time the staff were incredibly understanding as Mum has Alzheimers and was suffering from intense confusion following surgery. A short time after, she was transferred to Lulworth Ward, which again, could not at first be faulted until the Easter Holidays were looming. Mum, aged 84, suffering from dementure, was sent home as being told she was 'medically fit' by Physio, OT, the ward and Social Services. She was discharged on Thursday and unfortunately despite the help from the re-ablement team, the family were unable to leave her as she needs 24 hour care. Carers went in 3 times a day, but despite this, family were having to spend day and night 'shifts' to ensure she did not come into danger. 3 'falls' from Thursday evening to Sunday morning, and very tired and stressed family and needless to say a very emotional, confused and distressed Mum was taken into hospital again by paramedics as she was in pain and couldn't even cope with walking to the loo let alone anything else. It was very apparent to A&E staff that Mum needed to be admitted once again. After speaking to further medical staff on the Ilchester assessment ward, she has been admitted to DayLewis Elderly care unit for further assessment and care with a view to going on to a community hospital. If only the family had been fully consulted on her future care, all this emotional trauma could have been avoided as it is purely evident to anyone with even half a brain, that she needs admission to a Community Hospital for complete rehabilitation. She is weak, confused and emotionally traumatised by her experience, as are, to be perfectly honest, the family who have spent many hours without sleep and full of worry!! I would like to thank the staff on Ilchester ward for their understanding and outstanding care, right from the porters to the doctors, and especially the person who took it upon themselves to pass on kindness to myself, having not slept for 38 hours, supplying coffee to and a shoulder to lean on. I do hope the right decision is made this time when Mum is eventually released . . . . we will see!! I think what I would like to add is that when a patient is suffering from dementure, for all staff to consult with family before discussing their future - after all, the family do know that patient better than anyone, even if they are trained in that field!!!!!!

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Response from Dorset County Hospital

I am so very sorry to read of your recent experience and can understand how anxious and worried you and your family must have been. I hope that your mum is doing ok and we have been able to better support her needs on her second admission to hospital. I would like to be able to investigate further and find out how we can learn from your experience to improve how we care and support other patients with dementia and meet the care needs of the family. I would be really pleased to meet with you at a time that is convenient to you, if that would be helpful to you. If you would like to meet, please could contact our PALS service on 0800 7838058 or pals@dchft.nhs.uk. Best wishes, Alison Tong, Director of Nursing, Dorset County Hospital

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