About: Morpeth Cottage Hospital

My first experience with the Whalton Unit was 3yrs ago when my grandmother was admitted. The staff were rude to her. She had requested that staff close a curtain as the sun was shining on the television unut. As she was bedridden , she was unable to do this for herself. A healthcare assistant told her ' the sun will be moving shortly'. Following this her buzzer was removed from the wall to prevent her pressing it. My grandmother was 93 years old and deserved better than this.

Last week my dad was admitted following 12 weeks in general hospital . Needless to say ,I had my reservations. They were justified. The lack of communication is absolutley appalling !!! Firstly I had not been informed that my dad was MRSA pos until the end of a visit. The staffs attitude was snotty to say the least. They rekoned he has been MRSA pos since august but this must be untrue as he tested clear at WGH and no barrier nursing was necessary in NSECH or Rake Lane. Or even on my first visit to Whalton unit. I have since found out that he was taken to A&E because of confusion. Hello, read his notes!!!!! This was the cause of the original admission 12 weeks ago. [ He is delusional due to low sodium]. Either the staff are unable to read or they just dont care what so ever.

The care and comunication is dreadful at best.

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Response from Morpeth Cottage Hospital

Dear Furious,

I was saddened to read about both of your experiences with the Whalton Unit, it is unacceptable and far below the level of care that we aim to provide to our patients or their relatives. I can understand that you had reservation about your father being admitted to the Whalton Unit following your previous experiences there, and I am sorry that again that your experience was not much better this time. I can only apologise for this and that you found the communication and the attitudes of staff very poor; as a Trust we work hard to ensure that all of our staff live by our Trust values and put patients and their relatives first all times.

I will certainly make sure that your comments are passed onto the Whalton Unit so that they are able to reflect and learn from your experiences, in order to improve on these elements of their care.

It is worrying that you were not told about your father being MRSA positive and so you were not able to take the appropriate precautions when visiting, and I would like to investigate this matter further with your father’s permission. If you would both like me to do this please could you send his details to patient.experience@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk.

Kind regards,


Jessica Mallach – Head of Quality Improvement and Patient Experience

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