"Not told that my father had been moved"

About: Gartnavel General Hospital Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Elderly Medicine

(as a relative),

My father was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow with a chest infection.  He is an 87 year old man with Vascular Dementia.  

5 days later at 22.00 (approximately), my father was moved from the QEU to Gartnaval General Hospital with no reason given as to why he was moved; he arrived in the ward at Gartnaval General Hospital at 23.40.  The family were up visiting at 20.00 on the day he was moved and were advised that my father would not be moved as it was too late in the day. 

The temperature on the day of the move was below freezing the whole day (we believe it must have been at most -1 degrees).  In addition to this, as stated previously, my father has vascular dementia, and he was already unsettled and restless as he was out of his familiar environment; by moving him so late at night, this set him back further and he was out of sorts after his move.  

Furthermore, none of the family were advised that he had been moved.  As far as we were concerned he was still in the QUE, we only found out after calling the QEU the day after the move for an update on his condition. 

I am utterly disgusted with the lack of duty of care shown to my father. When in the care of the NHS, we should be able to relax in the knowledge that they are in the best place and are in receipt of the best care and attention available.  Specifically with regards to those with Dementia, I would expect there to be some thought brought in to transferring patients, especially when the patient is not of sound mind to reject this move, or to at least let their family know of the planned move.  

These actions are entirely unacceptable, and I would like this investigated as to why this was allowed to happen.  I am keen to learn of the reason that he was moved, especially at this time of night and the weather conditions at the time, and the reasoning and thought process behind moving a dementia sufferer, not just from one ward to another, but to another hospital entirely.

Responses

Response from Nicole McInally, Patient Experience and Public Involvement Team, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Gilby

Thank you for your post.

I am sorry to read that your Dad was transferred at 10pm to Gartnavel General Hospital. Please accept our apologies as we do not routinely transfer patients at night, especially elderly patients with dementia. When we do transfer patients, the staff should contact the next of kin to let them know.

I have shared your post with the General Manager responsible for Medicine for the Elderly. I would be grateful if you could contact me with your Dad’s personal details so that we can look into this further. My email address is Nicole.McInally@ggc.scot.nhs.uk, can you please quote the reference: 454268.

Kind Regards

Nicole

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Response from Ian Reeves, Consultant Physician, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear Gilby

Thank you for sharing your story about your father.It's only by knowing about this sort of problem that we can learn how to improve things in future.

It's clearly distressing to imagine your relative is safely in one hospital only to find that we have moved them late on a cold night without having the common courtesy to discuss this with you at the time. This isn't meant to happen.

I am one of the QEUH GGH Medicine for the Elderly consultants, and I would like to apologise on behalf of the GGH staff that this happened.

I would also encourage you to share your details with Nicole or me (on I.reeves@nhs.net) so we can work out what happened, why it did, and what we can do to stop this happenning to others in the future.

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