"My darling dad"

About: Southend Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My dad is in hospital at the moment, I’m going through the biggest heartache since my mum died. I feel the ward sister has been unimaginably cruel to me, my son and father. I really don’t know where to turn as we are the main carers for dad, so much has happened yet nothing explained. We were just told he has changes in his head scan but that could be because he moved, dementia was mentioned but never explained. My dad kept calling out for help but was left to his own devices and had a very nasty fall banging his head hitting hospital door. The ward sister rang and said your dad’s fallen over again, he has a bump the size of an egg. When we got there it was the size of a tennis ball!

A few more things happened, the nurse kept saying he’s very confused, but every time we were there he was ok, forgetful at times but just to us it seemed same dad/ granddad but maybe just drained from being ill in hospital. We didn’t question the ward nurse as I felt she wasn’t the most approachable person and we didn’t want to upset anyone because we had to leave dad there. We went to see dad and he had wee around his feet on the floor, he told us it had been there for over a hour, something the lady who served the food said was true to us too, and that he had fallen and had been ignored. I just wanted to get dad home where I thought I would be able to look after him. One evening, I went to see dad and spoke to the said nurse and had it out with her in front of the doctor.

I’ve never met such a rude, uncaring person in all my life. Next thing I know she’s back in the room telling me that dad can come home the next day but just needs a blood transfusion as something was a bit low. This was as long as I was prepared to look after him until a care package was arranged on the Monday. I said I would clean him etc, and then I said but if he’s not well enough to come home then obviously I would wait. She said no, it’s just the care package. I don’t think he was assessed and I was told to come pick him up next day. I said we had no wheel chair and she arranged transport. Dad arrived to mine in a dirty nappy, he had loose stools. So I cleaned him up in the bathroom with the help of my son, bless him he done it again and we were very worried about him. He kept shouting help, help, then he had a bit of dinner and I gave him his tablets he calmed down but I thought he didn't look good.

We didn’t know what to do so we called an ambulance and they suggested he come back to hospital. We then sat in A&E until dad was put in the acute medical ward, they were very nice there and said they didn’t think dad should have come out but that I had discharged him. I was very upset about this as I would never have done that, they said I must complain to PALS and said sorry for our treatment. I said it wasn’t their fault but it’s mine for being so naïve. They should have put dad back on that ward but because of our situation they put him on another ward, where he is now until Monday when we will see the social worker. They’re very nice and although they were a surgical ward, things were explained more to me about the just diagnosed dementia, and how he should not have just come home. I’m very upset, we love dad very much. I have no partner it’s just me and my 20 year old son here and we feel very alone and confused and just helpless. I can’t stop crying as I can’t believe that ward sister would say I discharged him and sent him home fully knowing that we had no idea what to expect. Even though there is the noroviris on the ward, I don’t know what to do. I have since found out that my dad could be heard calling for help from the next ward, by the nurses that are thankfully looking after him now. I have also had a patient who has approached me and told me he heard a man and a woman telling my dad to shut up.

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