"Concerned by elderly care"
About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Emergency Medicine Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Emergency Medicine AB25 2ZN Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / General Internal Medicine Aberdeen Royal Infirmary General Internal Medicine AB25 2ZN
Posted by 15Sept15 (as ),
Can I start by saying I work in a hospitaI, and this is part of the basis of my upset, because I know that no one I work with would ever do this, and that's what makes it all the worse?
My mum was admitted last night after a bit of an emergency at home. She takes seizures, in and out of hospital relatively frequently (twice a year or so maybe, sometimes more). She was taken by ambulance to A&E. I cannot fault the staff of A&E at all. From consultant to porter everyone was so very kind to me. The consultant took time to talk with me and appeared to genuinely care. It's so rare to see a consultant like that and I was relieved to have the chance to discuss my mum's care with them.
An agreement was made that my mum would be transferred to the short stay medical unit, ward 103, for observation. I left the hospital at 11pm, hoping that my mum would be alright, trusting the A&E staff had it in hand.
My mum phoned me at 1am, distressed as she was incontinent of urine due to her seizures, and was not offered a chance to wash. She had not been given anything to eat or drink (it would not have taken moments to get her tea and toast? ). She was left in a single room with the door closed, had been given a lot of sedation and felt frightened. I asked her to call the buzzer but again, she was not able to get any help for some reason. I tried to call the ward, but had no answer. Tried switchboard staff, and they couldn't get through either.
Anyway - morning came, and I was phoned at 11. 30 to be told my mum was discharged, could I come to get her? I explained I could not get near the hospital until at least 2pm, and was asked if I could try to come sooner. I said I couldn't and I was sure that would be OK. I don't drive, I was meant to be working a nightshift last night and I'd only had 2 hours sleep in total. I wasn't able to rush into Aberdeen at all. I genuinely thought that would be alright!
Imagine my horror then when I did make my way to the ward, for 2. 30pm and was told my mum was in a waiting room. I found my mum in a 10ft by 6ft room, sleeping across three chairs, wearing nothing but a hospital gown and underwear. She had no privacy, no access to the buzzers, no water, nobody could see her or check her. For someone who has seizures, was sedated last night, this is absolutely disgusting. My mum said a student nurse told her she had to vacate her bed as it was needed for someone else. I'm upset to think that she was stripped of her dignity and comfort in such a manner, all for a bed.
To make matters worse, no one came to explain the circumstances to me. The attitude of the nursing staff in general left a lot to be desired. My mum remembers a senior member of staff being rather concerned at some stage, as well as someone else, but I don't know what steps were made to resolve the situation - and why did someone not make an effort to discuss this with me, considering the staff knew I was on the ward?
I'm very upset. My mum's illnesses are partly of a psychological nature - as well as very physical - and there's a part of me that's concerned that this had something to do with it. I very definitely hope not.
I reiterate that some aspects of my mum's care was wonderful, but this was very distressing for us and I wished to tell you, as I don't want this happening to anyone else!