"My Father's treatment in ward 8 heartlands hospital"

About: Heartlands Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a carer),

My father was admitted to ward 8 at Heartlands hospital in August 2014 for various problems by a locum GP. During his 20 days in the ward not a single doctor came to speak to his next of kin for a week. We had to request a meeting with consultants to discuss his care and the response was that the doctors are too busy to talk to anyone and it was our fault that no medical staff had come to talk to us.

Then the next day ward staff informed me that a doctor would come to speak to me later. A consultant was doing his ward round and came to speak to me. He informed that nothing needed to be treated straight away and that my father was showing symptoms of early parkinsons but they did not want to give him medication for it because it would cause cognitive decline.

During the first week they had sent my father for x rays of his brain and spine. While he was being x-rayed a nurse came to speak to us about why my father was switching rapidly between being and lucid and confused while they were imaging his brain and spine. We said that he was not displaying these symptoms at home. He had only been on the ward 2 days and already my father's condition was deteriorating.

We had another meeting with a consultant to discuss the findings of the MRI images that been taken the week before. They also had access to the MRI images of my father's brain that been taken at another hospital in November 2011. The consultant told us that the x rays from 2011 and 2014 were identical. We then asked him about the parkinson's symptoms that my father was displaying. The consultant replied that they had asked a parkinson's doctor to look at my father and she had decided that he was not displaying any of the features of parkinson's disease.

We can only think that your father is suffering from early dementia which he was not. During my father's stay he was sectioned under the mental health act. The doctors failed to notify any of his family and then he was placed on the Liverpool care pathway even after it had been abolished by the government.

The moment we started to ask questions about what drugs were given to him they were stopping us from visiting him on the ward, until finally we had argument with the nurses on the ward and told them to discharge him or we would bring in the national newspapers and the police. He was finally released and dropped off at home by two paramedics.

My father was a patient at another hospital where he was being treated for hydrocephalus. The consultant at this hospital had access to the MRI images taken by Heartlands in August 2014 and he compared them to their own scans from November 2011. My father has a lesion in his brain. The new scan from 2014 clearly shows that the lesion has increased in size and may be causing his current symptoms, contradicting the statement made by the consultant in 2014.

I have seen my father's notes. In my view there is not a single ounce of truth to any of the statements recorded in them.

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Response from Marie Helebert, Patient Services Officer, Patient Services, Heart of England Foundation Trust

Dear professor x

Thank you for contacting us through Patient Opinion. I am most concerned to read your post and feel extremely sorry that you and your family have had this negative experience.

As you know, everyone shares their views and experiences on Patient Opinion anonymously. However, It may well be that you have already been in touch with us in other ways to highlight your concerns, but can I ask if you could contact me so that we can discuss your experience in more detail? I would be most grateful as I am really keen to investigate this appropriately.

We don't want any patient or family to have this experience and I would really welcome the opportunity to speak with you and find out a little more information to enable us to look into the concerns you have described. Patient and family feedback is extremely important to us; positive feedback enables us to identify things that we are doing well, but when a patient or family have experienced difficulties and problems, it is so important to speak with us so that we can investigate your experience, identify where the problems have been that have caused the problems, and make changes to prevent other patients and families from having a similar experience in the future.

Again, my sincere apologies for the difficulties your father and your family have been through and I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience. I hope this is acceptable.

With kind regards

Marie Helebert

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