"Disgraceful care of an elderly, end of life..."

About: Luton & Dunstable Hospital

I don't even know where to start! My Nan was brought in to A&E on 6/7/15 when she aspirated something into her lungs. She is 86 years old with vascular dementia. The paramedic showed myself and my father into the relatives room, they came back roughly 30 minutes later with a very calm and lovely nature to wish us well and that Nan's time may be coming to an end. For that I am grateful to them. We were then forgotten about by A&E staff for 2 hours, until we were so on edge we went through to Nan's cubicle anyway. She had been alone and scared for some time having xrays and blood tests done with no familiar faces to help ease her suffering. She was moved overnight to ward 11 and into a side room, put on intravenous antibiotics and a drip. She found swallowing a big problem and was nil by mouth until she could be assessed by the salt team. Electrolytes were introduced intravenously at this point. On arrival at most of our visits during this time Nan was dirty or wet and uncomfortable. The salt team could not assess her properly on 3 occasions and it was decided that her antibiotics and electrolytes would be stopped. The next visit her drip had been removed so she was receiving no fluid either. End of life care was talked about, as we can see she doesn't have long left with us, especially as she is not getting any fluids or nutrition, that still hasn't been sorted out. Then to top it off today 18/7/15 my Dad popped in to visit, he was met with the sight of Nan on the main ward (11) in a bay, not the side room, naked and uncovered, her own doing I should add. With other patients telling him they have had to get out of their own beds to cover her up. There was also a meal at her bedside that someone had attempted to feed Nan! Nil by mouth! A simple check of her records surely? Continuity of care? Handover? The ward is a shambles of stuff all over the place, it is untidy, looks dirty and the staff don't seem to care. Getting hold of a complaints department is like getting blood from a stone on a weekend. I have no positive things to say about staff on that ward!

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Response from Luton & Dunstable Hospital

We are very concerned to hear that your experience has been an unpleasant one. Please be assured that we will investigate this matter as much as we can from the information given. We would encourage you to contact our Patient Affairs Office directly on 01582 497002, or email complaints.officer@ldh.nhs.uk if you would like us to address any of your concerns further.

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