"Coronary Care"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

My 89 yrs 11 month old mother was sent to accident and emergency with a suspected heart attack, after waiting for an ambulance for 3 hours I signed a form and took her in myself. After being in A&E she eventually was admitted to the ward after 4 hours.

The results confirmed that she had had a heart attack.

She was there over night and after an echo scan was allowed home the next afternoon.

The medical care was fine, but I found the care of my mother was terrible.

When she was admitted a nurse questioned her about how capable she was at walking and caring for herself.

My mother explained she could only walk with a walking aid and needed help to shower and get dressed etc (and a little more since she was unwell).

Nobody had helped her get undress and the next day when I went to pick her up nobody had helped her get dressed and when she had pressed her buzzer for help to go to the toilet someone had helped her out of bed then left her to get herself to the bathroom supporting herself around the walls and the furniture as there were no walking aids.

I have mentioned this to a doctor on the ward who informed me that they were short of staff and had not been supplied with any walking aids.

My mother is an intelligent old lady an found the experience of being in this hospital very distressing and given an option would not want to return.

I find this incredible after the amount of money spent on building a hospital.

Compared with the care that she has received in the past from our local (now downgraded hospital) I do not call this progress.

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Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Mr/Ms Spottiswood

I am so very sorry to read that your mother did not experience the nursing care she is used to when in one of our hospitals.

We would absolutely expect our nurses and nursing assistants to support your mother to dress and undress, get into and out of bed and make her way to the bathroom – this is basic nursing care. I cannot apologise enough that this did not happen.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention and please be assured we have already started to look into this so that we can support the team involved to improve this. This isn’t the standard of care we want for our patients.

I hope your mother is recovering well.

Kindest regards

Claire Riley

Director of Communications