"Lack of care and compassion"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

My 86 year old mother spent 9 days in ward A22 in the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, there was a good atmosphere in the ward and, in general the staff were friendly, supportive and respectful towards her, and she was well cared for.

She was then moved to ward A32, what a difference! The domestic staff and student nurses were great but, (with the exception of one or two) the rest of the staff I saw with my mother were disrespectful towards here, rough and heavy handed when "helping" my mum and other patients in and out of bed and generally had an uncaring attitude. The consultant was patronising and insensitive when they spoke to my mum and upset her on more than one occasion.

After 3 weeks in this ward my mum was sent home even though she had deteriorated so much that she could not even stand unaided. A week later she was in so much pain and discomfort the G. P. had her re-admitted. There was no bed for her so she spent from a Wed. evening until the early hours of Fri. morning in a cubicle in the Clinical Assesment Unit.

She was cold upset and in pain. They knew she had a heart condition, but they decided the pain in her side was indigestion. She was moved back into ward A32. When I got there on the Friday the other patients in the room told me that she had been very distressed and they had buzzed a few times for a nurse to help her but the nurses had ignored her.

She was by this time delirious and in visible pain, when I pointed this out to the Staff nurse she offered to get her some indigestion medicine! A few hours later my mother died suddenly, in agony of a heart attack, clutching my hand. It was horrendous for her and for me. It haunts me to think of the way my mother was treated the lasts days/weeks of her life. The lack of care and compassion in the C. A. U. and ward A32 was shocking.

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Response from Angela Wallace, Executive Nurse Director, NHS Forth V

Dear EMP

Thank you for your posting and sharing your experiences of the care and the treatment that your mother recently received in Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

May I first offer you my sincere condolences on the loss of your mother, I can hear so clearly the deep sadness and concern your are feeling at what must be such a difficult time. I apologise unreservedly and was dismayed to read of the descriptions of the care your mother received.

I am sure this has been very difficult for you to write and I appreciate very much you having the courage to share both you and your mothers experience. I found it very difficult to read and I am truly sorry that we have let you and your mother down. I will as a result ensure improvements are made so that other patients and their families may not have a similar experience.

The level of care you described is completely unacceptable, and I have immediately began an investigation on behalf of the organisation. Please be assured that we are taking your concerns very seriously.

We recognise that there are a number of aspects of your mother’s care that could have been so much better and would like to be given the opportunity to meet with you and discuss further your experiences, however we will be guided by you. In closing I would like to thank you for your kind words about the care in ward A22 and will share this with them.

For ease I have enclosed my contact details below.

Professor Angela Wallace

Executive Nurse Director

Tel: 01786 457259

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