"Facilities for care of the dying,..."
About: St Helier Hospital St Helier Hospital Carshalton SM5 1AA
Posted via NHS Choices
What I liked
The doctors took time out to chat to me about my father and were very understanding . He was suffering from late stage dementia and pneumonia and died after two weeks . The staff seemed to be very busy but within the constraints of the system they did their best to provide good care .
What could be improved
My father at 85 and was at the end of hisfull and happy life when admittted from his Nursing Home . Was it really necessary to move him to hospital rather than give him full end of life care in the home? . As of today probably yes because the nursing given in homes doesn't cover the full range of care needed for the dying . eg Drips /moving the patient to avoid sores every three hours etc . Surely there is room for improvement here ? At the hospital he was initially in an assesment ward which seemed odd as he was alongside young people who were clearly there for more acute illness/accident rather than chronic old age related illness which is a natural part of living/dying . Later he was moved to a high dependancy ward where he received excellent care but again alongside patients clearly capable of full recovery . Surely patients approaching the end of life should be in a quiet less intensive environment where relatives can privately chat to their loved ones and start the bereavement process ? The doctors were at first reticent to talk about dying as this appears non PC even though to me it was very clear with many indications present .. In the end they did offer excellent medical care and were kind . Ideally such care should have been provided at the Care Home but ther are 'technical ' reasons against this apparently . If so should at least be a facility within the hospial where the dying can be treated separately ; looking back i would have tried to get him into a hospice . It was mid Summer and the ward was stifling - no form of air conditioning at all . Death occured in a busy public ward where every private word could be heard by the adjoining visitors who incidentally were very kindly . The final call from the hospital came to late for me to be present at death [ 20 mins drive away ] which was a great shame as I had vowed to be there .The idea of dying alone for me is abhorrent even though my fatherr was almost cerainly unaware . .
Car parking machines/barriers were intermitantly broken and the general 'estates' maintenance seemed poor . Foxes roaming about on a roof should be removed/destroyed.