"Dementia patients' needs on a surgical ward"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / General surgery

(as the patient),

When I was in one of the surgical wards at the Queen's Medical Centre recently, there was a patient with some kind of dementia in the same bay, who required to be walked about continually when she wasn't asleep.

This meant that one member of staff at a time was constantly occupied and found it very difficult to do anything else - for example I observed one staff member trying to make beds with one hand, because the other one was holding the patient.

This situation was not fair on the staff, who could not do all their other jobs. It was not fair on the other patients, some of whom were very ill, who often could not get attention when they needed it, and it was not fair on this particular patient - I saw her fall and severely bang her head when she got out of bed unattended one night. Such patients require more specialised supervision, for their own safety.

Quite apart from this problem, the staff were always rushed off their feet and buzzers were not answered for a long time. The nurses had so many things to do and think about, they frequently forgot what they said they would do.

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Response from Jessica Haggett, Patient Experience Officer, Communications, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Jessica Haggett

Thank you for your comments about our hospital. We aim to ensure patients receive caring, safe and thoughtful care in our hospitals. We know that on some of our wards – particularly healthcare of the elderly wards – patients require different levels of care and attention. Our nursing teams work hard to ensure we get this right.

We will soon be rolling out our enhanced hourly rounding programme, called ‘Caring around the Clock’, on all of our wards. This programme aims to ensure patients receive consistently high standards of care around the clock, all day, every day.

We recently launched a high profile Trust-wide campaign to reduce falls on our wards. Reducing falls is one of our key quality and safety priorities for 12/13. We are giving this considerable focus.

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