"Very upset by treatment of my 83 year old father"

About: Stafford Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My father was admitted as he had 'gone off his legs' as he is 83yrs old and has Parkinson's. He was admitted by the locum doctor as a non emergency requiring further investigations as to what had gone wrong, he was admitted to the Acute medical unit. I am his daughter living in Wales and am unable to visit frequently or assist my parents from a distance when they are being dealt with in such an appalling manner.

He has Parkinson's and thus requires his medication ON TIME as the drugs are short acting, something that we would have hoped nursing staff would understand and administer.

Yesterday on my mother's arrival at hospital at 2.50pm she was aware that my father was extremely anxious, starry eyed, emotional and frightened. My first complaint is that it appeared no one had noticed and on asking him whether he had had his tablets, he didn't think he had. On asking the nursing staff, he hadn't had his 11 o'clock tablet for Parkinson's - this is now 2.50pm some 3 hours later!

Whilst we are able to accept that staff are busy and unable to be attentive to all, all of the time something so important as someone’s timely medication surely shouldn't be allowed to happen? My mother complained to the nursing staff and subsequently the medication was administered and my mother spent the next hour trying to calm my father down. She met with the matron, who did apologise and promised it would not happen again.

So my mother once again arrives at 3pm and yes my father has had his medication - fantastic - and is due a tablet at 5pm. On her return at just after 6pm again, my father is being moved to a private room. My mother is aware that once again my father is panicking and asks him if he has had his medication, as he could not remember she went to find a member of nursing staff. Again whilst we accept that hospitals are busy places she was waiting for 20 minutes to find a nurse.

When a nurse eventually arrived at the nurses station they apologized and got his medication at 6.50pm, again nearly two hours late! Mother suggested that he be released his Parkinson's medication to take at the appropriate times himself. With some discussion it was decided that this was acceptable and that she would ensure he had had his 8pm tablet shortly before visiting hours finished. This is what she has done and he was settled for the night.

I received a phone call from my mother as my father has phoned her once again in a panic at 11.20pm as now the nursing staff are trying to administer 3 further tablets and as he has said they have said to him "to make up for those he missed today". Again after 20mins of phoning and waiting someone on the ward has answered the phone - apparently they didn't check his own tablets (which are locked up by the side of his bed) so they gave him two lower dose statin (he should have had one of his own) and another Parkinson's tablet "because he hadn't had his last one" He had - my mother gave it to him just before she left at 8 and she told the nurse that she had. It had not been recorded on the chart. With the intonation that this is the problem of letting someone administer their own medication.

Tomorrow and for my fathers sake I dearly hope the hospital is able to get this correct. He is to be discharged, as quite honestly we fear for his life being in Stafford General Hospital, as today he was declared medically fit to go to a local nursing home where he is to be taken by hospital ambulance, he has still not seen any of those professionals we have been told he would.

We do not want him to spend even one minute longer than he has to and provided those professionals receive the communications from the hospital there is no reason why they cannot conduct their business in the care home - at least in there he has a chance of getting his medication on time and not be put under unnecessary suffering.

At the time of writing no one appears to be overly concerned for my father’s health (which unless I am mistaken is the whole point of a hospital). He was promised a visit on Monday from the Parkinson's nurse which was to be postponed till Wednesday - for what reason we are still unaware.

My mother has requested for a private consultant (the hospitals own Parkinson's consultant whom previously they have paid privately to see) to come and assess my father - again they have been told that this isn't possible until Wednesday, like it isn't possible to talk with the hospitals own consultant whom is treating my father outside of visiting hours? My mother has arranged for my father to be put into a private care home as she fears that for every minute he is in this hospital is another minute he is at risk.

I have just received a phone call from my now very distressed mother to say that she has had to discharge my father and transport him to the care home herself with him in a distressed state and certainly not having been 'cared' for. She feels she has been lied to, stories made up about my fathers condition, medication missed, forgotten and generally cocked up - and one nurse has apparently shouted at my father with my mother as a witness.

Our next step is to consult with the medical profession privately to get the appropriate tests done for my father as he still some 4 days later has not been tested for anything and is now in an even worse way. Our second step is to consult with some legal authorities. I feel this is treatment is beyond words.

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Response from Patrick Nyarumbu, Associate Director of Patient Experience, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time to leave feedback about your father’s experience. We always try to act on patient feedback to improve our services.

I am very disappointed and concerned to hear of the problems with your father’s medication, his care and the fact that you and your mother have been left feeling as if none of our staff care about your father’s health. It is also disconcerting to hear a member of staff shouted at your father. These are not the standards of care I would expect to be given to our patients and I can assure you that we will properly investigate your concerns.

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