"Lack of care for my grandmother in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

(as a relative),

My Grandmother spent time at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary last summer. She had fallen down a flight of stairs in her house and broken her hip and shoulder.

I was going in to visit her twice a day for the first week that she was there. I was horrified by some of the things that happened to her while she was there.

Firstly I was informed when I went in for the second time that my grandmother wasn't eating. I therefore handfed her various things when I was there and begged her to eat, however the nurses continued to tell me she wasn't eating her meals.

Eventually I asked to stay during the meal time. I sat by my grandmother's bed and an orderly came over and offered to help feed her and did for the first few spoonfuls but then handed over to me. My grandmother turned to me and said "that's the first time they've offered to help me eat".

She was stunned by the offer. I was stunned by the fact that my grandmother had been lying in the hospital for a week with a broken shoulder on her right side (she is very right handed) without anyone offering to help her eat with the nurses telling me she wasn't eating. I found this wholly unacceptable.

Secondly when my grandmother was moved out to her local hospital four weeks later she was in rather a lot of discomfort. The nurses there eventually discovered she had not had a bowel movement in over a month because the hospital in Aberdeen had kept saying they would assist with this but not getting round to it.

Thirdly I do not live in Aberdeen so I had phoned the hospital in advance of my arrival to ask about accomodation in the vicinity. The head nurse I spoke to informed me that for relatives of patients in my grandmother's situation rooms were provided in the hospital.

When I arrived on the ward this turned out to be something no one knew anything about. I then asked them for a copy of the list of accomodation that NHS Grampian have on their website as handy for staying in with relatives at the hospital. I was informed, very rudely, that they couldn't possibly let me on the internet, which wasn't my request in the first place. On checking the website at a later date I found, as I had thought I remembered, that the website clearly states that a copy of this list will be available at every ward reception for the use of visitors.

Generally I felt very uncomfortable leaving my Grandmother at the hospital in question as I did not feel that very much attention was being paid to her needs or her general condition. It really shook my faith in nursing and patient care.

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Response from Anne Marie Walsh, Clinical Quality Facilitator, Quality, Governance and Risk Unit, NHS Grampian

I can see you shared your experience on Patient Opinion some time ago. I am sorry that your experience was not a positive one. We have only recently started working with Patient Opinion so please accept our apologies in not getting back to you at the time. If you have any further feedback about the experience you described please get in touch.

We are keen to listen to stories of patients and carers and, going forward, we plan to respond quickly to all stories we are alerted to from now on.

Best wishes

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