"Still upset by hospital's treatment of my elderly father"

About: Yeovil District Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

When my 96 year old dad was in hospital in 2009, he was not only never washed all over, during the eight weeks he was in hospital (despite incontinence brought on by the drugs), he was never helped to eat (I fed him, whenever I could be there) nor to drink (the water was placed on a locker, at the far end of the room) and he was never dressed warmly - despite having pneumonia.

Again and again I found him in a thin hospital pyjama jacket, no trousers, and a thin cover over his knees, sitting shivering in a chair with his hands like ice. I made constant requests for more blankets, and for him to be dressed in his own warm clothes, and was given insincere assurances, but nothing was ever done.

The call bell was *always* on the floor, out of reach of his high hospital bed.

When he left the hospital, his care home was quite appalled - not only at his weight loss, which was considerable, but at his unwashed state.

I did my best to talk to the ward staff, but could rarely get them to stop long enough either to explain what was happening to him or to ask them to help with his basic care. I didn't 'whistle blow' because I was afraid they might take it out on him, and he was very old and vulnerable.

This went on in Yeovil hospital, in Somerset. My dad has died since, but it still fills me with anger and distress to remember the time he spent in that hospital, and the awful time he went through.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Lucy Nicholls, Development Officer, Somerset LINk


I'm really sorry to hear about your awful experience, which is really saddening to read.

The Somerset Local Involvement Network (LINk) is a patient organisation that will be turning into Local HealthWatch next year. Part of our role is to collect and monitor patients' and carers' stories about health services in Somerset.

We will contact Yeovil District Hospital and ask them to respond to this story. It is disappointing that they have not already done so as your story is obviously very serious and the experience must have been very distressing for you and your father.

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. Please be reassured that it has been read and noted and we will follow this up with Yeovil Hospital on your behalf.

Best wishes,


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Response from Alison Male, Deputy Patient Experience Manager, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

It is saddening to read your story about your father's experience at Yeovil District Hospital The Trust strongly supports the principles of iCARE around Communication, Attitude, Respect & Environment and takes all feedback very seriously.

We would like to work with you to resolve your concerns and would ask you to contact Ali Male, Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) Officer on 01935 384706.

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