"Poor elderly care and lack of respect and compassion"

About: West Suffolk Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as the patient),

An elderly patient was left to call out constantly, disturbing all other patients.

When the nurse finally went to see to the patient, she shouted at her. I was two bays away and heard the whole exchange.

I suggested to the nurse that this lady (if not already diagnosed) should have a psychiatric assessment for dementia. Her behaviour showed all the classic signs and symptoms - disinhibition, inappropriate calling out, agitation, etc. It seemed to me that the nurses on this ward were so fed up with dealing with this challenging patient, they failed to spot the blindingly obvious.

I felt that their behaviour was dismissive, disrespectful and uncompassionate.

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Response from Linda Buckland, Assistant Communications Manager, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing feedback on our service. We were very sorry to hear of your concern.

We expect our staff to have respect for patients and be compassionate and caring at all times.

The Trust has a training programme in place to increase knowledge and understanding of dementia and to improve the care of people with this condition. We are therefore disappointed that this was your experience.

It would be helpful if you could contact us with the name of the ward so that we can deal with the issue directly. Please contact the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01284 712555 or email pals@wsh.nhs.uk

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