"Buzzers out of reach and hearing aids refused"

About: Northern General Hospital / Accident and emergency Northern General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

Following a fall in November, my Dad was admitted to the Northern General Hospital,Sheffield, via A&E where it was confirmed he had fractured his hip. We cannot fault the orthopaedic team and the care he received on being transferred to the surgical assessment unit and then to Huntsman 5. What followed when he was transferred to Huntsman 4 and then to Vickers 4, with the same care team needed to be seen to be believed. He spent 6 weeks on this ward

It seemed the staff that treated my dad had very little respect for the patients or visitors. When both the auxiliary and the staff nurses were dealing with patients, many chatted to each other over the patient. One particular senior member of staff was very rude towards us. They interrupted their staff when they were working with a patient on matters that I feel could have waited until the staff had completed the task. In my opinion this meant that the patient needs were not met when they should have been.

This staff member also refused to let my Dad use his hearing aids which I feel impaired his recovery and was downright cruel. I have spoken to family, friends and professional people about this and everyone is astounded. In my opinion, it is an infringement on my Dad’s basic human rights.

Some staff seemed to lack the ability to deal with my dad's deafness. I felt that not enough attention was given to vulnerable patients and at visiting time it seemed it was the visitors who prevented the patients from disaster. I witnessed staff walk in to the bay or past the bay and not even glance in the direction of any of the patients.

Buzzers were often out of reach. The nurses’ station was completed deserted at visiting times and the staff all seemed to be on their break at the same time. Due to this I think the continuity of care was very much lacking. Whilst waiting in the corridor before being admitted to the ward, other visitors were complaining and saying they would be glad when their relative was out of that ward.

My mum had a meeting with the care team and consultant in December. My family and I had arranged this for a date we could all attend. Unfortunately the staff brought the meeting forward at short notice. At that meeting it was decided that my Dad should be moved to an offsite rehabilitation unit and the Consultant asked the discharge nurse to put his name down for a place at Beech Hill, Norfolk Park but said that nothing would happen before Christmas. My mum arrived at afternoon visiting time a few days before Christmas to be told that my dad was being moved the following morning to a rehabilitation unit close to the Hospital and the paperwork had already been sent. Surely we should have been informed before they put everything in motion. Mum lives in south Sheffield and the staff knew that the journey to the hospital took an hour and a half but still they pushed ahead and we had not been able to arrange to visit the units. Mum is still left with a long journey to visit her Husband and has done so every day since his admission to NGH.

Continuity of care we felt was very poor with different members of staff looking after him each day. One day I asked a nurse "Who is looking after my dad today. Nurse: Err. I think that's me. Me: How is he doing? Nurse: Err, I'll just look at his notes." On another occasion the nurse was doing the drug round and passed my dad, I asked her why he had not got anything and she said he was not written up for anything and she was waiting for Dr to write up his medication. I thought this was a bit strange so later I asked her what she was waiting for them to write up as they were being very careful not to change his medication due to his confusion. She fetched his drug card and found that he was in fact written up for all his medication, which she shoved at him and gave him an injection without even telling him what she was doing!!

At another visit my dad needed the toilet so I asked the nurse if he could be taken, she turned round and said he could walk, to which I said are you sure?! She called a care assistant who had no more idea and he decided to get a chair and push him to toilet, but then discovered that my dad could not stand so went off to fetch help. My dad had nothing on his feet so I made the staff wait until I had put his slippers on for him and explained what they were going to do.

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Response from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention.

We are very sorry to hear that there are a number of elements of your dads care that you and your family are unhappy about.

We treat all feedback very seriously and will be sharing your comments and observations with a senior manager on these wards to look into this.

We would also like to investigate your concerns and provide you with a full response to these matters. We would be grateful if you would contact our Patient Services Team on 0114 2712400 or email PST@sth.nhs.uk to obtain more details from you.

Update posted by poohbear71 (a relative)

My mum is currently making a complaint, I will pass on your details to her.