"Mixed care for my dad"

About: Victoria Hospital / Intensive Care Unit Victoria Hospital / Medical High Dependency Victoria Hospital / Stroke

(as a relative),

My dad underwent a routine gall bladder operation on the in June, everything went well with the operation. Saw my dad that night a bit uncomfortable but looking forward to getting home the next day. Anaesthetist popped in and said everything had went well and was happy. Phoned early in the morning to hear that dad didn't have a good night blood pressure kept dropping would see us when we went in.

Next time I saw my dad Thursday, he was already sedated and on a ventilator with a large swelling, heading back to theatre to find out what was going on. Not sure if dad was going to make it.Surgeon came to let us know halfway through that dad had had a massive bleed losing over 40%, at that point not sure what had caused it, we were told it might have been caused by the surgery when removing the gall bladder or a clip.

Dad was taken to ICU where he was cared for for every second, the nurses on that ward will not be forgotten for all they did for my dad, the care and attention and in allowing us to stay with dad. Dad was taken back to theatre a third time on the Friday to check the bleeding had stopped and to close the wound. Everything went as planned and dad was taken back to ICU. Dad still sedated and on ventilator.Mum noticed later that day that something wasn't right on dads left side, his arm and mentioned it.His temperature was high all weekend. We were concerned dad had sepsis as he had had it the year before. Everyone we came into contact with we mentioned this. Cultures bloods taken regular to be checked. A CT scan was to get done but dad was to poorly to be moved from ICU. The scan finally got done on the Wednesday and we found out dad had had a massive stroke affecting all his left side, we were told dad wouldnt leave the hospital, may never talk. The dr told us the the next day they would take dad off the ventilator and to be prepared, anything could happen that dad might die. Family came to be with dad, my dad the fighter rallied, breathing on his own. Looked after by ICU angels.

Early next morning my husband and I saw my dad propped up, eyes open .. no words enough to explain the feeling. Dad was able to say he loved me, reassure me and ask how everyone was. Stroke had affected dads speech but no doubting what dad said. Dad was so scared even writing this my heart breaks. We reassured dad and comforted him wishing we could do more. Dad was up and down and was so happy when he got a teaspoon of juice " better than winning the lottery he said" on getting a teaspoon of ice cream " lovely jubbly"  - thank you ICU nurses. Dad continued to be up and down.

Dad never complained, never wanted to be too much trouble, all he wanted was to come home. 

Dad was to be moved to the stroke ward. the dr told us that whatever happened dad wouldnt be brought back to ICU but they would do the best they could for him.

At this point I thank those nurses that cared for my dad, you gave dad back to us so he could tell us he loved us and how much we loved him.

No bed was available on the stroke ward and the bed in ICU was needed, dad got moved to medical high dependency where it all started to go wrong. This is where we feel that dad was let down.

Dad was really poorly still and yes a shock for us going from ICU but the quality of my dads care was NOT what it should be and the lack of compassion towards my dad and us as a family.

Medical high dependency did not appear busy, alarms going off not just at my dad but other beds , no staff seemed concerned and it seemed more necessary to sit, laugh loudly about what was going on in there lives! The nurse taking care of dad on the monday, I use the word care loosely did not, in my opinion, know what she was doing when we said dads temp was up I believe and remember the words she said oh it was ok last time and she would check it. We felt it was chore and we were putting her out. She took dads temp oh yes it is high I could go on.

The nurse that really stands out she told us she had forgotten to take blood for cultures as she had been asked to do. Considering we kept mentioning sepsis and dad had had it last year this lapse is unforgiveable! When dad was upset at doing the toilet one auxilary reassured dad not to worry. That one shining lady will not be forgotten for actually caring for dad. She could teach those nurses that day in mhd compassion and caring.That day will not be forgotten and hope that no one you love or the family concerned has to go through what my dad and us as a family did. Perhaps remembering that one day it could be someone they love in that bed will remind them the job they need to do.

Dad was then moved later that monday night to the stroke ward in a room with three other gentleman, dad still had a high temperature. The nurse who was in that night and reassured us that dad would be looked after and any change she would ring. 

The next morning when I saw dad he was awake had a glove on. I asked about this dad had knocked the feeding tube out through the night. We were asked to go wait so they could freshen dad up. When they came to get me and my son we were told dad had been moved to a side room as he had been stripping off and upsetting the gentlemen and they had to think of there dignity. I did say my dad had a temp and he would be upset to think anyone thought that of him. The nurse said rather abruptly that no he was taking all his clothes off. I waited and spoke to the nurse looking after dad that day, upset and explained what had been said.   She said not at all dad was moved because one of the patients was affected on the same side with the stroke and was rather upset seeing dad and wanted to keep an eye on dad and have him closer to the nurses station. Never should a patient or relative be spoken in such a careless way, unforgiveable, all that needed to be said was we moved your dad into a wee side room so we can keep an eye on him.

In the stroke ward most of the staff we came into contact with were lovely and helped dad. Sadly they seemed understaffed but do the best that they can .. more needs to be done to help a much needed ward!

The SalT team decided dad was no longer strong enough to swallow even a teaspoon of liquid in case it went to his lungs. Dad did go downhill, wasn't easy feeling helpless only able to comfort and reassure, asking nurses for help when needed. My dad struggled so hard if anyone could have made it through it would have been my dad. Dad had another swelling but again too ill for CT scan and it was treat what they could treat. 

My dad died at the end of June 2018 after what should have been a routine operation. We were not told properly after the massive bleed what had caused it, a clip. Dad also had respiratory sepsis - what we had from the start been frightened dad would get.

 I hope that lessons can be learnt and improved on.

To the ICU nurses I thank you from the heart for all you do.

MHD I hope this helps to shed a light on how things can be made better.To the nurse and nurses that day  - no words except from the heart make sure every patient that comes to you that you give them the care and attention that they need as if they are your own. To the lady that comforted my dad I thank you.

Stroke ward nurses thank you for doing the best you could- you know who you are.

My dad is our superhero, heartbreakingly missed no longer suffering but happy next door... till we meet again. 

Responses

Response from Carol Slater, Senior Charge Nurse, MHDU Emergency Care, NHS Fife

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I am so sorry to hear that the experience you had in MHDU was certainly not the level of care I expect to be given.I will look into the details of your dads stay and ensure that all staff see this feedback.

If you want to discuss further I would be more than happy to speak to you.I can be contacted on 01592643355 EXT 20029

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Response from Donna Hughes, Patient Relations Manager, Patient Relations, NHS Fife

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Dear Storm63

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about the care provided to your dad and the experience you have had as a family at this very difficult period. This is a very sad account of your dad’s journey however, I was pleased to read that some of the care provided to him was comforting. I would like to thank you for your warm and generous feedback about some of our colleagues; particularly those working in ICU and I will share your feedback with them.

I was concerned to read about the lack of compassion towards your dad and his family, and the overall level of care he received while in MHDU. Like my colleague, Carol, I want to say sorry that this was your experience. I have discussed this with my senior nursing colleagues who are appreciative that you have brought this to their attention. They have advised that the care you describe is unacceptable and would really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you.

If you would like to meet with them or discuss your concerns further with me can you please contact me on 01383 623623 Ext 28069

Best Wishes

Donna

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Update posted by Storm63 (a relative)

Thank you Carol and Donna for talking to me over the past two days and for what you are doing.

Response from Donna Hughes, Patient Relations Manager, Patient Relations, NHS Fife

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Dear Storm63

I was grateful that you took the time to contact me and share your story in more detail. I was inspired at how humble you remained when describing the care that caused you concern. It was evident from the conversation how much your dad meant to you and your family and how much he is sorely missed.

I was pleased that you also had the opportunity to discuss your concerns with my colleague Carol and that you were advised of the next steps she is taking to review your dad’s care. As discussed your dad’s surgery will be also be subject to a review and we will keep in touch so you remain informed of any action and learning.

I could hear that it was difficult for you to talk about your dad’s care and I would like to thank you again for taking the time to discuss it with me.

Best Wishes

Donna

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Response from Colette Ross, Charge Nurse, Intensive Care Unit, NHS Fife

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Dear Storm63,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond on Care Opinion at such a difficult time.

An admission to ICU can be a harrowing experience for both the patient and family members. I am pleased you felt the care delivered at this time was of a high standard.

It is clear that your Dad was well loved by all his family and I am so glad you were able to communicate with him before he died.

I note the ongoing conversations with my colleagues above and hope the opportunity to discuss your concerns are beneficial.

Your kind words will be passed onto all the ICU staff.

Kindest Regards

Colette

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Update posted by Storm63 (a relative)

Colette, the kindness and caring from yourself and your nurses will never ever be forgotten. Thank you for all that you did for my dad .. no words.

Response from Moira D'Inverno, Senior Charge Nurse, Ward 42, Stroke Unit, Acute Services Emergency Care

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Dear Storm63,

I am sorry about the loss of your dad, and thank you for expressing your concerns at what was such a difficult time.

I am saddened to here of your not so positive experience of ward 41 and I have spoken to the staff of the importance of how they communicate to relatives at such a distress time.

I also thank you for you kind words about the staff, the stroke unit is a busy ward but all the staff make sure that the patients and relatives are cared for and needs met. I will share this story with the team to help them learn and reflection on your experience.

Kindest Regards

Moira dinverno

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Update posted by Storm63 (a relative)

Hello trying to contact Donna Hughes regarding form and information that was being sent to me 4 weeks ago, still not arrived as yet.Tried to contact you by phone but must keep missing you and have no other way to get in touch.Hoping you can help.

Response from Donna Hughes, Patient Relations Manager, Patient Relations, NHS Fife

picture of Donna Hughes

Dear Storm63.

Can you give me a call on 01592 623623 Ext 28069.

Reagrds

Donna

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