"What does Patient Centred Care look like?"

About: Monklands District General Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as a carer),

Where, oh where, has the human touch gone?

When my life-long friend, an 87-year-old retired health professional, was admitted to hospital after a fall, there appeared to me to be a complete paralysis of the system.

As a Care Plan was already in place, my friend appeared fit to go home within 10 days.

However, the NHS decided that they should assess my friend. This would start in a couple of weeks......there was no hurry.

(For whom? )

I watched my friend deteriorate daily.

Normally slightly confused, the removal from her own environment made her thoroughly miserable. The greatest miss was her best friend - her dog. There were rules in the geriatric ward: no dogs.

The only solace that would allay her anxiety was forbidden.

The constant stalling on her assessment increased her agitation over her separation from her Best Friend, This caused increased confusion, and I realised that staff would be totally unable to assess her mental state unless she could be returned home.

To this end, I wrote to the doctor, suggesting a temporary plan. I, with considerable health care experience could offer my home to her for 7-14 days. My home is fully accessible - it is ramped, with Closomat toilet, extra wide doors, and hoist. I have all my Disclosure Certificates. This would allow her to be reunited with her dog.

I wrote, expressing my concerns, offering this solution, and explaining that my friend had no next of kin, but that I had been tasked with keeping her in the Community, and had begun the task in 2004.

This missive was greeted with astounding arrogance and discourtesy. No reply was received, and although it was marked Private and Confidential, my personal mobile number was passed to the staff.

A case conference was called, to which I was invited. However, it was not attended by any Senior Personnel, No Consultant, no Physiotherapist, no OT. Nobody even chaired this "meeting".

What was it?

I have never known anything like this, so cannot comment on a group of her friends getting together for a pow wow in a hospital.

If the aim is patient centred care, why is there no active seeking of those who have done it? Is it simply more jargon?

The lack of interest/questions/queries from those who are "in charge" is terrifying. How many of them could describe person centred care in detail?

If they cannot describe what it looks like, they cannot be aiming for it.  Therefore, they cannot do it.

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Response from June Delaney, Senior Nurse, Medicine, University Hospital Monklands, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of June Delaney

Dear Pioneer

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch via Patient Opinion. We certainly realise the value of carers and appreciate the role they play in supporting family and friends. I can clearly see that you have been supporting your friend in the community for several years and I’m sorry for the frustration you have experienced whilst she was in hospital with us.

Whilst I’m not able to address your concerns fully on Patient Opinion, I read your feedback with concern and I would be keen to look into the issues you have raised.

If you feel able, please contact Melanie Maclean in the Patient Affairs Department at Monklands Hospital on Tel No: 01236 713065. Melanie will take further details and ensure we have the appropriate consent and permissions to look into this further.

Warmest Regards

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Response from Ruth Thompson, Chief of Nursing Services, Monklands Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Ruth Thompson

Dear Pioneer

Thank you for taking the time to post your experience and observations of your friend's stay in Monklands Hospital, I am disappointed to read your postings and believe we have much to learn from you.

June Delaney, Senior Nurse for Older People's Services has requested you contact our Patient Affairs Department and I would like to add to this request, if you felt able to give us your story, I would share this not only with the Older People's wards but across the hospital and the Multi-Disciplinary Teams.

I do hope you feel able to help us improve services for our patients but understand you are supporting your friend to be at home, surrounded by her friends and her beloved dog. I hope she is recovering well.

Kindest regards


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Update posted by Pioneer (a carer)

Thank you for hearing my distress.

It is a terrible mess to make of a discharge. When engagement is denied by a Consultant, the patient is excluded.

For the patient, my aims are:

To enhance her quality of life.

To promote integration and Inclusion.

To restore her dignity and self- respect, which have so cruelly been taken from her.

To allow her control over the areas of her life that she still can control.

Monklands Hospital was very helpful as the Independent Living Scheme developed into High Dependency/Intensive Care in the Community with a ventilated patient..

Surely they have not forgotten the lessons learned?

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