"Overworked, understaffed ward that did not listen or respond to concerns"

About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My elderly father was admitted for treatment of a bout of pneumonia and I was appalled at the inadequate staffing levels and appalling communication within the ward.

My father was given IV hydration but not checked to see if he was passing urine (he has congestive cardiac failure and needs diuretics) and if I had not picked up on this, his condition would have worsened. A severely confused patient was left in a urine soaked bed unchecked and I had to prevent him from choking on a spoon.

My father then developed a urinary infection and despite my repeated requests for this to be addressed and my concerns about increasing confusion plus his previous history of infection related delirium, nothing was done. My father ended up in an acute confusional state, became extremely distressed and agitated and despite psychotropic medication being prescribed as required to calm him, this was not given and he was instead moved to a single room and left. This situation was totally preventable.

I am a registered mental health nurse of 20 years and was appalled by the lack of response. A ward sister was rude and dismissive. I was given conflicting and contradictory information and there was no clear communication within the team let alone with patients and family members.

When finally discharged, my father could barely walk, had swollen inflamed legs and no home care was offered or organised. My elderly mother was instead left to cope alone with me and my sister doing our best to support her (I live 100 miles away).

Many of the nursing staff were kind, some albeit in a rather patronising way, and although staff were working flat out, there simply were not enough of them and no clear leadership. It was like a ship without a captain lurching along in a haphazard chaotic way.

What I do find unforgiveable is that fellow registered nurses failed to listen to my very legitimate concerns and ignored warning signs. I was not someone that was constantly criticising or nit picking as I could see how overstretched they were and only raised urgent issues when required. The fact that they still didn't listen or act still upsets me to this day.

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