"Mother-in-law's care at Stepping Stones left a lot to be desired"

About: Scunthorpe General Hospital / Rehabilitation

(as a relative),

My mother-in-law was admitted to the Stepping Stones Unit at Scunthorpe General Hospital in early 2009 with a condition which had left her basically paralysed from the waist down. (She had not had a stroke and had all her mental faculties).

I felt that the care she received in this unit was appalling. Within 2 weeks she had developed bed sores (Stage 3), a chest infection, and on more than five occasions when we arrived to visit, her call bell had been left out of reach. On 2 occasions I arrived to visit to find her cup of tea had been left for her whilst she was asleep, but again it was out of reach and so went cold and was not drunk.

She was in this unit for about 8 weeks and, as far as I could see, did not get a bath, shower or hair wash in all that time.

One day when the nurses got her out of bed to put her in her chair, they did not put her pressure cushion on the chair and left her insecure in the chair. Because she could not use her legs, they just slipped and she slid out of the chair, banging her head on the wooden arm before hitting the floor.

When I came to visit, I was not told by the nurses about the incident, but my mother-in-law told me what had happened and complained of a headache where she had banged her head. When I went to report this to the male nurse on the station, he had the audacity to deny that she had hit her head - even though he hadn't even been there when she fell.

At least my mother-in-law was able to shout for help, unlike some of the patients in there who have had strokes and cannot communicate. I hope to God I never end up in there.

I myself have spent time in this hospital on Ward 28 and am full of praise for the nurses and staff there as I was very well looked after, and so was my mother-in-law when she was in Ward 24 before being transferred to Stepping Stones. The nurses work very hard and it isn't an easy job - I am full of admiration for them. But I don't feel the same about Stepping Stones.

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