"Appointment for my mother in law"

About: Chesterfield Royal Hospital

My mother in law came for an apt with the doctor in relation to a follow up Parkinsons appointment and a blood test result. She didn't see the Dr but another consultant. This I appreciate is normal, however, given she has Alzehimers and she saw the doctor in the corridor, she then found it very unsettling that it wasn't the original doctor we saw and it was very hard to explain this to her.

I would suggest that in the appointment letters there is an explanation to say it may not be that consultant they see as it is good to have another consultant review their case for a second opinion/workload etc so that you manage the patient's expectations. In addition to this, she was then sent for an x-ray for her lower back pain. My mother in law cannot walk unaided and is exceptionally unsteady on her feet.

I was therefore very surprised that she could not have been x-rayed maybe in a special chair or something, rather than have to help her lay down and a hard bed with nothing to grip on to to help her get in the right position, which was to lay on her side with her hips stacked above each other.

Me and a nurse had to help her lay on her side which we struggled to help her. She is 77 years of age and is quite frail and just doesn't have the strength to help herself. After the first x-ray she lay back on her back, only to be told the x-ray needed to be taken again and it was harder to get her to lay back on her side the second time round, I almost had to hold her in place and then run behind the screen when the x-ray was being taken.

Her body kept moving as she struggled to hold herself in the right position. They were trying to x-ray her lower back. She kept saying she felt as though she was going to fall off the bed and panicking and it was quite distressing for me to see her like that.

I don't know what facilities you have at the Royal, but I do feel she was not treated with the dignity she deserved. I then had to pull her backwards on the most awkward wheelchair known to man and by the time we returned to the car she was exceptionally distressed.

I have given this great thought and decided that unless I fed this back, then you wouldn't be able to address it for other patients. In terms of those wheelchairs, I don't know how other carers cope with them, as I saw an elderly man trying to pull his partner, as opposed to push her in a wheelchair which is the norm.I felt this further exacerbated the lack of dignity being pulled around a hospital backwards is quite embarrassing as on-lookers stare at the patient and you too!! I ended up feeling like I had strained my neck and arm by the time we returned home as I pulled her on a wheelchair backwards up to see the doctor, then from there to the x-ray department and then back to the hospital foyer, which is quite a distance, pulling someone backwards. I hope you are able to review the appointment letters, offer less abled bodied patients a better way of having an x-ray and you remove those unhelpful wheelchairs.

Kind regard

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