"Possibly the worst level of care I have ever seen"

About: University Hospital Lewisham

I have had alot of time to ponder just how awful the medical care is at Lewisham hospital, and finally I cannot keep my silence and feel I must voice what I have seen across the following year. Lewisham hosptial was involved in "caring" for both my grandmother and my mother at different times throughout the January and Febuary and many of the practices I saw made me feel physically sick and incredible ashamed and angry about the level of care being given in hospitals. I personally found many of the nursing staff on duty in the cherry ward to be rude, abrupt and totally unapproachable and unable to tell me anything helpful about my grandmother's condition. Across two weekend visits, I saw many worrying practices including the dining staff ignoring signs of "nil by mouth" and leaving food for patients who clearly cannot eat. Nurses referring to Hartmann's IV infusion designed to suppilment and replenish the body fluids and essetial ions as "nutrition", which it clearly is not. Absolutely no signs of anybody actually taking the time to talk to my grandmother and keep her company in anyway. Perhaps most shockingly, in February I was informed by my father after a visit that he noticed fluid leaking from my grandmothers arms, and that her arms had been covered with pads similar to incontinence pads to simply absorb the fluid leaking from her arms. My grandmother passed away, and it saddens me greatly that she had to ensure this level of indignity in the final weeks of her life.

It is doubly distressing that when my mother was admitted to Lewisham due to issues with her nutrition linked to her oesophagal cancer she too experienced inadequete levels of care from certain nursing staff at Lewisham hospital. These included nurses ignoring call buttons and leaving her in bed in her own mess due to issues with disability and ulcerated colitis, and only being cleaned when my sister arrived the next day to take her for a shower. As a result, when my mother was admitted to hospital later in the year when her cancer worsened, I was relieved that she was admitted to St Thomas's hospital where the level of care and attentive dedication of the nursing staff puts Lewisham to shame. I am sorry if these all seems very negative, but these views are based upon the observations made by myself and other members of my family and it is my hope that others will not experience these sorts of issues in the future.

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments about your time on Cherry ward, I am very sorry that you had such a poor experience. I have shared your comments with the Matron, Ward manager and nursing team, they were all very disappointed that this was your perception of them. The Matron is working hard with the team to ensure that the quality of care delivered on the ward meets the Trusts high expectation.

If you would like to discuss your case in more detail, please contact me using the details below

Annie O'Lone Senior Matron

Acute and Emergency Medicine Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust annie.o'lone@nhs.net 07768688053

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