"My mother's experiences in the Royal Bolton Hospital"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital

(as a relative),

My mother, was admitted to a complex needs wards at the Royal Bolton Hospital in May. After a week or so on the ward she had a stroke and a few days later was moved to the designated stroke ward.

She then had a second stroke a week or so later. Her right side was affected and her speech was very poor. She was put in a bay of four beds and all the other patients had demetia.

This was distressing to my mother as she needed to practice her speech but, of course, couldn't as the other patients were unable to have meaningful conversations. One of the other dementia patients was in the habit of throwing anything to hand about and on one occasion my mother was hit on the head with a cup. No member of staff told me about this, I found out from my mother and members of the patient's family.

My mother was temporarily doubly incontinent and had to wait so long for someone to bring her a bedpan she invariably messed the bed. This was very undignified and upset my mother who was trying very hard to regain control of her bladder and bowels. On one occasion a nurse told her they were too busy to see to her and she should "do it in her bed". I made an official complaint to the ward matron and was told that this was a bank nurse and that she would be reprimanded. I do not know if this happened or not as I was not given any feedback.

My mother was also subjected to a tirade from a nurse about the cost of incontinence pads and that the government had limited their use! I again reported this to the ward matron.

I am sure that the majority of staff treated my mother with kindness and respect but of course, only the bad examples stick in your mind. The physiotherapists were kind and encouraging and a male nurse was particularly good with my mother, staying by her bed and encouraging her to eat and drink at mealtimes.

My mother was in hospital for about eight weeks and then was discharged to an intermediate care home, where we were told she would receive rehabiltation for up to six weeks. I am unaware of any specific rehabilitation taking place and after about 17 days she was discharged (against her and my wishes) to go home with a care package in place. This care package is generous (4 short visits a day) but its days are numbered, no more than 6 weeks and I suspect much shorter than that.

When the social worker decides she will be reassessed and will have to pay for any help she gets thereafter. I live in dread of the care stopping as I have advanced breast cancer and my husband has stage 4 prostate cancer and find it very hard to cope with an aged relative as well.

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