"Hardly anything. I and other ..."

About: Ipswich Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Hardly anything. I and other family members who visited regularly found the care and treatment offered to my mother during her 3 week stay on Woodbridge Ward prior to her very sudden and unexpected death therein was very disappointing and way below expectations.

What could be improved

Prompt and caring attention paid to the patients was certainly lacking. Call bells were frequently left well out of many patients reach. (This seemed to be a ward policy). Many patients had to often call out loud for nurses when needing delivery of or collection of commodes which was very undignified for them. Woodbridge Ward being at that time one of almost all elderly patients many were often confused and worried and we didn't think adequate attention was given to them by staff to allay their fears or settle them down. Often visitors were trying to calm down other patients who had no visitors at all and were also going out into the bay to alert staff of a patient requiring assistance. Even then the response was often far from immediate,. Only very occasionally did we feel staff were particularly interested in the patient or that they were willing to discuss the patient's situation at length with family members. A drug chart for my mother went missing and was never found. Food charts were not properly filled in, if at all sometimes.

Anything else?

Our mother went into Ipswich Hospital for what we were assured should only be for 2 or 3 days on the advice of her GP as she had shown very sudden extreme confusion and uncharacteristically strange behaviour which was put down to a minor urine infection by the GP, plus she had suffered a fall overnight.. It was never indicated to us at any time that her admittance carried any degree of danger to her life. Even on the day that she eventually died 3 weeks after her admission no member of staff seemed overly concerned when my brother and I expressed our concerns at her continuing detetioration. My brother actually addressed 3 members of staff in their bay at around 8.30 pm because he felt her breathing had seemed peculiar but they all merely remained in their seats and one even told him that our mother had said she wanted to die anyway. We remain of the opinion that it was disgraceful that 3 professionals in a field of care failed to show any real concern and deemed it unnecessary go with my brother to her bedside to take a look for themselves. He duly returned home and then a little over an hour later I recieved a phone call from the hospital saying we should hurry up there as she had suffered a cardiac arrest and efforts were being made to save her. We arrived within 20 minutes but she had already succumbed and we were left to very sadly look at her lifeless body in the bed on the ward. We will always feel that her care and treatment allied to a constant lack of urgency was a disgrace from almost her 1st day to her last in Ipswich Hospital. We have had meetings with staff and admissions were made to us that certain situations could have been much better at the time of my mother's stay and we were promised that lessons would be learned and every effort made to ensure much better care for future patients. Yet we have read since in the local press and heard on the radio of disquiet over inadequate hospital care for the elderly so have these promises been fulfilled?

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