"Stroke / Post-Stroke Patient Eastbourne District General Hospital"

About: Eastbourne District General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My mother suffered a stroke a few weeks ago and was looked after in the East Dean ward for a week before being allowed to go home. She was still suffering from flashes in her vision and I noticed that when they occur she has involuntary contractions in her right arm and she raises it and her eyes go to the right but she was not aware she was doing so, but otherwise she was not suffering from much confusion. She said that the staff had seen it in hospital but didn't know what it was and not to worry.

She then suffered a TIA and was in hospital for a day during which time my brother directed the doctors attention to the flashes and shaking but he did not witness it himself and she was discharged anyway after a day.

She was more confused now but we were unsure if this was simply because it was so soon after the TIA as it had taken a few days in hospital before she was with it again after the stroke. She has since gone back into hospital suffering from severe confusion now which seems to come on with the flashes, and now her right arm and leg are contracting even more rapidly during these, her head and gaze turn to the right involuntarily, and her whole body orients in that direction, she cannot focus or speak properly, and if she does speak during this episode it will not be the correct words but once the flashing and shaking stops she can speak normally and even resume the conversation from before the episode occurred.

I do not know that she is in a fit state of mind or memory to describe her symptoms over the past week and how they have developed but I have not been allowed to see or speak to a doctor myself because it is the weekend. At this stage I do not even know if they are aware of her full symptoms but nevertheless the doctor has decided on a course of action and they are doing no further tests until Monday when she will have a psychological test. The nurse explained the doctor has decided that the seizure like symptoms are psychological and associated with the stress brought on by being confused which leaves me thinking they are not aware that they began before her state of confusion was an issue but they have offered me no way of speaking to a doctor. Very distressing and nowhere to turn for advice.

The stroke ward has decided to treat the shaking and involuntary movement as 'loss of concentration' and just to harrass her during them to 'bring her back to reality'. Don't know what to do. Tried contacting a private hospital but they only take admissions from a consultant. If she had a consultant or any doctor I could speak to I wouldnt need the private hospital! How is it possible to not be able to speak to a doctor just because it is the weekend?

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Response from Patient Experience Lead, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

We are concerned to read your posting about your Mother’s care on East Dean ward at Eastbourne DGH, and we would like to talk to you to address your worries and concerns as soon as possible. We would therefore urge you to make contact with our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS). They can be contacted on 01323 435886 or by email at esh-tr.PALSE@nhs.net. They also have an office near the main entrance open from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday (no appointment necessary).

The staff in PALS work independently within the Trust on behalf of patients and their relatives and will liase with Trust staff on your behalf to ensure that all of your questions and worries are listened to and addressed.

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