"HC Pretty Ward (Female)"

About: Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

My Mother was admitted to HC Pretty Ward in February with a fall following a TIA and residual left sided weakness & chest infection.

She suffers from COPD & Vascular Dementia & was placed on the ward much to my dismay. I am very aware of the current clinical & operational issues all NHS hospitals face these days having worked as an RGN and Senior Nurse in the NHS for the past 30years.

I have to say that i was horrified by the environment on this ward, responsible for caring for elderly patients.

The ward bays are crammed with six beds into what would have originally have been 4 bedded bays. The beds were very close to one another, with absolutely no privacy.

Safe & clutter free mobilisation of patients, staff & visitors was severely compromised.

I overheard an HCA speaking very rudely to a couple of elderly confused patients, which i attempted to address with an RGN on the ward when i attempted to discuss my Mothers care & they couldn't have cared less & tried to defend the HCA's behaviour.

Regards discharge planning.......there isn't any!!

My Mother was physically fit for discharge & we spoke with the ward staff on the telephone regards the strength of her walking and restarting her care.

We were told she was walking fine & without assistance. This was completely untrue & was using a zimmer frame & was very nervous & unsteady walking following her fall.

I tried to address this with RGN in charge of my Mothers care when i went to collect her, they were rude, defensive & unprofessional, especially went i wanted to see my Mother walk to the toilet unaided (as she would be at home) she couldn't and required both the zimmer and my assistance. The care agency had not been notified and restarted, there was no zimmer frame to go home with and discharge medication was incomplete. Regardless of how i broached the issues and situation with the RGN all they would say in response was " she has been seen on the ward round and is medically fit for discharge and couldn't remain an inpatient"!

My Mother had been an inpatient for less than 36 hrs and the ward team were oblivious to many of my

Mothers clinical and care needs.

We do our utmost to enhance my Mothers experience of life as it is now & ensure her dignity and the opportunity to make the decisions that she is able.

Quite frankly i was horrified by this elderly care ward which in all truth reminded me of ancient geriatric/dementia care hospitals, and lacked privacy, dignity & respect for this vulnerable group of patients cared for in a cramped envirnoment. This ward should be a specialist ward with specialist knowledge & experience in caring for this group of patients. I hate to say it; as my Mother has been looked after superbly well in both A&E and Harowden ward many times previously, but be ashamed KGH.

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Response from Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments regarding your mothers recent admission to HC Pretty A Ward, I am sorry it did not meet your expectations. HC Pretty A Ward is a single sex medical ward, comprising of 3 bays which each accommodate 5 female patients. We acknowledge the ward can appear cluttered due to the amount of equipment required for a busy ward. We try to encourage patients/family’s to limit the amount of belongings a patient has on the ward, However, this is not always feasible especially as many elderly patients also require walking aids which can add to what is seen as clutter. We actively encourage staff to keep the ward tidy and ensure walk ways are clear.

In regards to your concerns surrounding discharge planning, without being able to review your mothers notes or identify who she is, it has not been possible for us to establish exactly what input our teams had in the planning of your mothers discharge.

As a general rule, all our patients are reviewed and assessed by the ward Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist during their admission and contact is made with the patients existing care provider if they have one. A patients mobility is assessed against their baseline and equipment is provided on discharge if needed. The nursing staff are required to reinstate a patients package of care prior to discharge and co-ordinate a discharge around the planned care visit. When a patient is due to be discharged, the doctors and pharmacist reviews the patient’s medication history and their current prescription, dispensing what is required. I apologise if this did not occur on this occasion.

If you would like to discuss your concerns in more detail, please contact our Patient Advise and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01536 493305 and we would be happy to discuss your concerns further with you.

Leah Hooton

Ward Sister

HC Pretty Wards