"Better standard of care at home"

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

This story has also been sent to the Care Quality Commission.

My partner was forced to discharge herself from QEQM Margate for the second time in the last 9 months.

She was forced to because she felt that she received a better standard of care at home from the carers who come in to her home 4 times a day.

She has been admitted to either Kent and Canterbury or QEQM five times in the last 18 months.

On each and every occasion staff have failed to write up the extensive medication she needs for her severe autonomic neuropathy, her stroke and heart symptoms and above all for her never ending acute pain.

My partner is bedridden and has to lie on an airbed in her home because of her acute pain problems. For the second time in that hospital she had to lie on a normal bed for 36 hours because she was told that no airbeds were available and then it was discovered there were six new airbeds available but one of the staff said another staff member would go mad if they used one but my partner insisted that she knew how they worked and demanded to be given the airbed to alleviate her pain that was causing her to have faints.

All of this happened on Cheerful Sparrows ward where I might add that many staff are absolutely brilliant and trying to do their job with minimal resources.

In one incident that led my partner to finally decide to discharge herself, staff ignored the emergency bell that my partner had rung while locked in the toilet when she got into difficulties even though the nurse was sat at a desk adjacent to the toilet.

It is a complete waste of time to complain to the trust authorities because in my opinion, they deny everything and this is not just my experience alone.

They take weeks and sometimes months to investigate complaints and in my opinion, don’t recognise that these complaints are legitimate because I feel that they are more concerned with covering up poor care standards than to admit there is a serious problem within certain areas of EKHST.

My partner has been in EKHST hospitals in Canterbury and Margate five times in the last 18 months. During each stay she has experienced incident after incident all of which have been brought to the attention of each successive senior staff, as well as her MP and all have just been batted away as if they are some kind of figment of her imagination.

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Response from Sally Smith, Chief Nurse and Director Of Quality, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

I am so sorry to hear of your experiences with the Trust. If you would like us to look into this please feel free to contact me on Sally.smith2@nhs.net and I will ask the Matron to contact you.

Best regards,


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