"Concerns over my mums care"

About: West Heath Hospital

My mum is currently an inpatient on ward 14 for rehabilitation following a compound fracture to her leg in February. She suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis, anaemia, osteoporosis, depression and impaired kidney function. She has suffered for 30 years with rheumatoid arthritis and anaemia and has had to have numerous blood transfusions over the years which normally help her to feel very much better. At the end of last week we were told her haemoglobin count had come down to 7.5 and she would need some blood to help 'build her up'.. Her appetite is poor at the moment so I was very pleased to hear about the transfusion as it has always helped before. The transfusion was eventually started on Sunday afternoon. My mother had been dozing and woke up to find the blood drip had stopped working, she called the nurses who were equally puzzled so they bleeped the doctor who came and informed them the transfusion had been stopped (without telling my mother or the nurses) because the doctor wanted to wait and see if my mother's blood count would rise naturally without intervention.

Sometime later the same doctor returned to the ward and told the nurses to restart the transfusion after all. Quite rightly the nurse refused as they felt the blood could be contaminated or infected by then as the transfusion drip had been taken down. My mother has still not been given a transfusion because her blood count has risen from 7.5 to 8.0. Her appetite remains poor as she is still anaemic. We know from past experience her blood will not rise sufficiently to help her appetite until she is given a transfusion. My mother is also in severe pain with her shoulders, head and neck and this is due to her needing her six monthly Botox injections which are now over due. They treat the nerve pain which results from damage caused by the arthritis. We have asked the ward to contact the anaesthetist in pain management at Q.E. hospital to get her appointment brought forward as she cannot wait until August. Her arthritic pain is now so severe in her shoulders, head and neck that it is holding up my mother's rehabilitation. My mother has the determination to walk again but being in an upright position and holding on to the walking apparatus at the moment causes her immense pain. From past experience this will be greatly reduced once my mother has the necessary injections. To the best of our knowledge this department has still not been contacted by the ward. I have rang the secretary and was told as my mother is currently under the care of the hospital ward it should be them that contact the Dr about my mums injections..

My mother has full mental capacity and is determined to walk again, the physios concur. Despite these concerns I would like to mention that my mum finds the majority of the staff on the ward to be pleasant and kind but so far we do feel let down by the medical care that has been lacking with regard to my mothers treatment and rehabilitation.

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Response from West Heath Hospital

Dear Mr AB

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your feedback caused by a failure in the automated communication between NHS Choices and the Trust.

I am also sorry to read of your concerns about your mother's medical treatment whilst in our care.

I have asked my colleague to speak to the Clinical Team Leader this afternoon about your concerns.

It would be helpful to meet with you to talk through our next steps to address the issues.

Please could you call me on 0121 466 7128 or my colleague Anne Pemberton on 0121 466 6512 who will be speaking to the Team Leader later today.

If we do not answer your call due to being with another patient or in a meeting, please leave a message and we will call you back at the earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely

Alison Last

Associate Director of Patient Experience

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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