"my father, end of life in the deansley ward"

About: New Cross Hospital / Cancer Care

(as a relative),

My father was admitted to the deansley ward two weeks before he passed away. We never saw his consultant, not even at his outpatient appointments. His condition deteriorated over the course of the two weeks.

Three days before he passed away he became very confused and was obviously in his last days of life, but still the medics sent him for a scan on his kidneys, which was a total waste of time, money and extremely distressing for my father as he did not want to be touched or messed with in those last days.

Two days before he passed away, my mom and I arrived to find my dad semi conscious, eyes closed, mouth open in an "O" shape and calling out for "mommy". So upsetting, but no-one was with him, nor were his curtains drawn around him for dignitys sake! ! I spoke to a nurse and asked her if he could be put into a room on his own as the end was very close. I was told there were no single rooms available.

Half an hour later a room did become available miraculously and my dad was moved. We thought the rooms in the deansley ward are extremely depressing, no paintings or pictures on the walls, no flowers and some rooms are incredibly dark and dingy, something that could be put right very cheaply and easily.

We requested that no further treatment be given to my dad, and the medics agreed, but 20 minutes later a nurse and a photographer turned up wanting to turn him and take photos of a bed sore my dad had on his bottom! ! ! WHY! ! ! ! We were persuaded to let the photos be take and were told to wait outside the room, where we waited and had to listen to my dad screaming in pain.

The following day we arrived very early in the morning to find my dad very distressed in his bed, arms flailing, an awful lasting memory to see.

My father passed away at around 4pm, we were with him. I asked his nurse to come and confirm the death.She asked when the last time he took a breath and said he probably had passed and said, and I quote "bless him"! No doctor came to confirm the death and we were left with my father in disbelief, not knowing what to do next!

Surely there are guidelines on how to treat and speak to relatives in these end of life days. Patients and relatives deserve to be treated with respect at this very vulnerable time and be talked through what will happen next. These types of experiences leave us feeling traumatised on top of the emotion of losing the loved one.

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Response from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Dear Nell Gibbons

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments, relating to your father's patient experience on the Deanesly Ward. I am extremely sorry for the distress that this matter has caused you and your family and may I pass on my sincere condolences to you all.

To enable me to look further into your concerns, I would be grateful if you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01902 69536201902 695362.

Kindest regards

Judith Davis

Patient Experience