"Lack of care and respect for my mother"

About: Solihull Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My mother, who 82 now, after fighting off numerous infections is seriously ill, bedridden and basically at the end of her life, she continues to surprise the medical staff by always bouncing back saying things like, "can't complain !" or "when can I get out of bed ?" But the reality is she always ends up a little worse than the last infection and is now unable to stand or walk. My mother hates being unable to manage her own continence needs and is now completely at the mercy of the nursing staff.

My niece travelled down from London to see her grandmother, she was delayed on the motorway and arrived late at 2010 (visiting starting at 1930hrs) but on her arrival she could see her nan lying on her side very upset and her hand and arms covered in faeces, seeing her granddaughter she was mortified.

My niece immediately informed the many nursing staff (all congregating around the nurses station) who informed her that they were aware of the incident and about to deal with it. They also informed her that the incident had only just occurred. My niece went back to her grandmother to reassure her and pull the curtains to save her any more unnecessary embarrassment.

A couple visiting the patient in the next bed, informed my niece that her grandmother had been in that condition since 7.30, which was the time when they arrived and no one had bothered to come despite mother obvious distress, pleads and offers to pay anyone who would clean her up. The staff now very quickly attended my mother, informing everyone that the delay had not been any more than 10 minutes, (as though 10 minutes is acceptable.)

After a cursory wash they changed both my mother and the bed, my niece wondered how/why in 10 minutes had the faeces manage to dry so much and asked them to ensure that they would remove all traces of faeces from her grandmothers finger nails, which they had failed to do up to then. Her visit had by then, been completely taken up by the staffs belated clean up and my niece arrange to visit the following day out of hours (12.00 hrs), as she had to return to London later that afternoon.

Whilst all the clean up operation was going on she (my niece) noticed a small pool of blood beside another patients bed and on her return the following day the blood was still apparent. She of course relayed all these details to myself and advised me to look and see if the blood was still there the next time I went, it was not, however, it should not have been there all that time.

My position is this, this is not an isolated case, previous concerns seem to have gone unheeded and it is my opinion that certain staff on a particular shift, either cannot or do not know how to treat the elderly. In my experience treatment on these occasions fall well below essential standards of care and perhaps border on neglect.

There are many concerns about that night and it's not all about my mother. Hygiene: how unhygienic for all other patients and visitors, what about contamination, the risks of infection to others.

The blood on the adjacent patients floor space, quite apart from a health and safety concern, what about Hepatitis, Aids etc.

Neglect: My mother asked for a bed pan why was she not given one, why did it take so long, she is not incontinent, just needs assistance.

Dignity: If it was not bad enough she was left to defecate herself, she was humiliated in front of patients and visitors alike, not even the courtesy of the curtains to spare her blushes.

I do not intend to let this matter drop,I intend to complain to every agency to ensure something is done.

I do not believe this is a widespread endemic problem affecting the whole hospital, my mother had been on two other wonderful wards prior to being on the ward mentioned here, and the majority of ward staff are very professional.

Very Peeved.

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Response from Patient Engagement Office and Project Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

To Mickwilz

Thanks you for taking the time to post your feedback as we always say we cannot change things unless we hear about them.

I am sorry to hear of the problems encountered by your mother. I believe staff on the ward have, since you posted this feedback, met with you to discuss what actions would be put in place to address the issues you have raised and statements will be taken from staff on the ward.

If you have any further concerns please contact our Patient Services Department on 0121 424 0808 who will be able to assist you.


Catherine Williams

Patient Engagement Department

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