"Poor treatment in Ayr Hospital A&E"

About: Ayr Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as a relative),

Twice in five months, my mother (in her 70's, with arthritis and early dementia) has been taken to A&E after falling over and they have missed broken bones and tried very hard to send her home without treatment. Thankfully I've been with her both times, and insisted on a second opinion/assessment by OT.

It was a very unpleasant experience, we sat in A&E for hours (seven hours or so) as I tried to explain that Mum was in a lot more pain than usual. One A&E doctor suggested that Mum might have a low pain threshold... it turns out he'd missed a broken rib and a cracked sternum on X-rays.

You hear lots of stories about the elderly "bed blocking" and taking up lots of resources. I would like to publicise the fact that I have had problems getting Mum hospital treatment for broken bones, and we feel very let down and angry with the A&E department in Ayr Hospital.

Once Mum was admitted to a ward, she was given excellent, sensitive care which I acknowledge and appreciate. However, I feel dreadfully concerned for the people in A&E who don't have someone to fight their corner.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear JT2828,

Oh dear, that is not a good experience for either of you and not what we want for our patients and families. It must be scary enough for elderly people who have early dementia without A/E attendances, but even worse when they do not go smoothly. I will pass this to the senior management team and I am sure they will want to respond to you. If you would like us to review your Mums whole visit, you could contact me by email - eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or phone on 01563 826222, providing your Mum’s name and date of birth and we can look into this further for you.

Forgive me if you are aware of all the support possible, but just in case you are not, has your Mum had assessment at home for falls prevention? There is a great deal now that can be done to help people reduce the risk of falls. You may be aware of the Integrated Care and Enablement Service (ICES) which has an officer in each local authority area in Ayrshire and Arran. The officer is there to assess patients who are at risk of falling and offer help to prevent them. The service is advertised in both Emergency Departments in Ayrshire and you should have been offered a leaflet about this service. Just in case you have not had a leaflet, or you now need the information, the numbers you can use to contact the ICES team are

for South Ayrshire - 01292 660444

North Ayrshire – 01294 400616

East Ayrshire – 01563 507955

Please only contact the area in which your mother lives. (I have put all three numbers in just in case it helps others too).

I am glad the care she received in the ward was ‘excellent and sensitive’ and I will pass this on too. Thank you for sharing this aspect of your Mum’s care too, it makes such a difference when staff are aware when we do get it right.

I do hope your Mum is recovering well and I am so sorry you both had such a difficult time.

I hope this information is helpful too.

Best wishes to you and your Mum,


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Update posted by JT2828 (a relative)

Dear Eunice

Thank you for a quick response. This portal seems a marvellous way of putting people and care providers in contact with one another. And making the communication public so that others may benefit.

I considered making a formal complaint, but decided against it. However, I will contact you separately with my mum's details because a review of my mum's recent experiences in Ayr Hospital is warranted. Thank you for suggesting it.

With regards additional support for my mum, we are in regular contact with social services, she has a good CPN, she's on the Community Ward Doctor scheme, she's on the Council's alert/panic alarm system (can't think of it's name right now) and she's been recently reassessed by the ICES team. She's as safe as possible at home (where she wants to be), her falls were due to, we think, a combination of an infection and a change in medication.

Mum is recovering well, thank you.

Best Wishes

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dera JT2828,

Thank you so much for agreeing to get in touch with me. After today I will; be out of the office until Tuesday, so if it is possible, if you are able to contact me today, that would be great.

I too think the public nature of the PO website is a very useful and NHS Ayrshire and Arran are fully supportive of its use. I think it helps our agenda to be more transparent but it also helps that we can have a two-way communication quickly.

It sounds as if you have all the support in place for your Mum, so that is wonderful. I look forward to hearing from you,

Best wishes,


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