"Not being allowed to stay in hospital with my mother who has dementia"

About: Southmead Hospital

(as a carer),

My mother was taken to Southmead Hospital in November 2014. She has dementia and is very resistant to being touched by people, unable to communicate (except to say no) or understand communication. I asked to stay with her overnight but was told no.

Each day I came back in I would find her curled into a tight little ball, by the time I left she was relaxed. When staff came to attempt 'treatment' in order to diagnose she fought them off as if she thought they were trying to kill her. It was dreadful to see and must have been awful for her. 4 days later they realised that they would have to sedate her to do a scan to clarify why she was ill. 4 days of torture.

I didn't know about John's campaign, neither did the staff on the unit. I'm surprised to find that Southmead is signed up to it. Is this recent? Or did the staff just not know? Was I not assertive enough or did I fail to use the 'C' word, c for carer?

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Response from Steven Sykes, Advice & Complaints Team Manager, North Bristol NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear Powerless Carer – thank you for taking the time to post your comments. I was sorry to learn of your experience in November 2014 when caring for your mother whilst she was in Southmead hospital.

Since November 2014 North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) has been working with the Carers Forum to develop a Carers Charter jointly with University Hospitals Bristol. This was launched in 2015, as part of Carers Rights day on the 20 November last year. The joint charter was developed in conjunction with the sign up to John’s Campaign.

Awareness and education relating to this has now been incorporated into the induction for all staff and is delivered by the hospital carers liaison workers (from April 2016), this was delivered in relation to Dementia Training prior to this in the early part of 2015.

As part of our wider action, plan developed in response to the Care Act 2014, the Trust has restructured governance arrangements at NBT to include a Head of Patient Experience role. In January of this year a carers steering group was implemented and is developing a Carer’s Strategy. There is also a link on the Trust’s web pages that now informs carers of the hospital’s carer’s scheme.

There also is further work underway particularly in respect to listening to feedback and actions arising from this will be ongoing.

I am sorry your and your mother’s experience was so unsatisfactory in November 2014 but as you will see from the above a great deal of work has been undertaken and I am now confident you would both benefit from this.

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