"Concern for my father"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My 77 year old father was admitted to ICU at the beginning of the week suffering from a respiratory infection. He is terminally ill with lung cancer and was dehydrated. His palliative care to date has been non-existantant, in fact it has been difficult to identify any evidence of care or treatment since his diagnosis.

My father was discharged from RH Hospital today despite the fact that he lives alone; he is confused; he has not eaten and appears not to be able to swallow; he is unsteady on his feet. He has been discharged with a supply of medication including morphine, but with no instructions on how to take meds.

My concern is the apparent neglect of my father at a time when he is most vulnerable. My mother (his ex wife) is naturally concerned as are the rest of his family.

RH should be ashamed of the the standard of treatment they have provided in this case and I will be contacting PALS to request a full explanation. Thankfully, the Site Coordinator has supported me and my family to ensure that we have a plan to move forward in a more positive and proactive way, this has been the only redeeming feature in my father's care.

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Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your father’s stay at Russells Hall Hospital. We always aim to offer the highest standards of care and we must apologise that you feel we have fallen short of those standards in relation to your father’s care.

We appreciate what a difficult time this must be for you and your family and we would like to assure you we take all comments seriously and act upon them as part of our on-going commitment to patient experience.

Palliative care can be provided by many health care professionals and if specialist palliative care support is required this can be accessed in the hospital and in the community.

From the information you have given, we are able to tell you that your father is under the care of a specialist palliative nurse and a referral to the Community MacMillan team has been made to ensure he receives all the help he needs at home.

Instructions on how to take medication, the prescribed dosage and possible side effects should be fully explained to patients before they are discharged from the ward. We must apologise if your father did not receive information about his medication before he returned home.

Our Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Stacy Denley and Consultant Lucia Sabel would be very happy to discuss your father’s care with you, if you have any further concerns. You can contact them on (01384) 456111 extension 2752.

If you have not done so already, you can get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on free phone 0800 073 0510.

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