"My mother's admission to King George with suspected pneumonia"

About: King George Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My mother was admitted to A&E King George in November, then transferred to Fern Ward. I was told she had pneumonia. She had a horrible cough but was given nothing for it and left lying flat in bed round the clock.

Since no spare pillow was available I brought one in from home, plus cough pastilles etc. A few days later I asked to speak to a doctor regarding my mother's condition. All the nurses would ever say, and apparently all they are empowered to say, is "she will be discharged when she is medically fit". I was told at the nurses' desk the doctor would be available to speak to me at 4pm on a given date.

At 4pm on that date I was told the doctor had left the ward, "and she's left instructions that she is not prepared to speak to relatives".

My mother had not been getting all her regular medication. The nurse said it was not necessary. I could see my mother suffering, and brought it in from home. She'd been nearly a week without it. The junior doctor who appeared at the desk that day told me I shouldn't have brought in the medication, "but could see why I had".

The next day I found my mother dressed and sat in the chair with her things packed up ready to go home. There had been no attempt to follow NHS guidelines on discharge of elderly patients. I pointed out to the Dr that my mother had developed another problem, she said "Yes, a prolapse". I asked what I should do to have it treated, she said "nothing it will pop back". If only that were true, it is causing an immense amount of pain and distress.

I was told my mother had been passed medically fit and passed an occupational therapy assessment.

She came home after a few days. She was unable to get out of a chair unaided, let alone make the stairs to the bedroom & bathroom. Her GP made a home visit and prescribed another course of antibiotics as the chest was still not clear. The emergency occupational therapy team arrived that day to do an assessment and provide Zimmer frame. My mother was told she isn't allowed on the stairs unless accompanied. These are things which should have been assessed prior to discharge.

I do understand this hospital is going through something of a crisis period, but I would like to warn relatives that you need to do all you can to protect your loved ones while there.

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Response from King George Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to make us aware of your mother’s experience within King George Hospital. I am concerned to hear her experience and want to make sure this investigated. Please contact me through our PALS team on 01708 435 454, or by email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk.

Yours sincerely

Dr Nadeem Moghal

Medical Director

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