"Absolutely Shocking Treatment of Elderly"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

My 84 year old father was admitted on Saturday evening with a suspected stroke.

Fortunately everything was OK and was just kept in for observation for 2 evenings.During this time he was left wearing the same clothes that he came in with, he was not even given a wash.

He had to sleep in his day clothes! When he was eventually discharged on Monday evening he arrived at the sheltered accommodation he lives in without his correct medication, his morphine tablets missing.

The warden contacted the hospital to arrange for them to be taxied to the home but they would not do this.

Warden rang myself at 9.30 in the evening to see if anybody could go to collect.

My husband had to go to the hospital, park, wait for the morphine to be dispensed, sign for it and travel to the sheltered accommodation, a round trip of an hour and a half at least.

Ward sister said the staff must have been busy when he was discharged!

If there had been no family with transport to run up to the hospital my father would have been without morphine and would have been in extreme pain.

This is totally unacceptable!

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am deeply shocked to read about your father's recent experience us. There is no part of the care that you describe that I can defend.

It’s extremely unusual for a patient not to have been offered a change of clothing during their stay, I would like to speak to the staff involved in your father's care to find out more about exactly what happened ?

It is important that I do this urgently, I'm sure you'll understand why I would want to this given the seriousness of the concerns you raise.

Unfortunately an anonymous post doesn't allow me to chase things up and discover what's gone wrong.

With your father’s consent, I would be grateful if you could email me to help us get to the bottom of what has happened, my email is Annie.Laverty@nhct.nhs.uk.

It is also worrying that your father went home without his correct medication– although you have spoken to the ward sister I would still like the opportunity to make sure we’re doing all we can to avoid this happening in the future. I would urge you to get in touch with me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks,


Annie Laverty – Director of Patient Experience