"Lack of care for my dying brother"

About: Churchill Hospital / Clinical oncology

(as a relative),

My brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was taken into the Oncology ward at the Churchill as it became obvious that he was reaching the end of his very limited life expectancy.

The nursing care I saw was dreadful. Care was not involved - my brother, who could no longer co-ordinate his hands, was given food covered with cling film, that he could not remove from the plate, without dropping all the food to the floor.

His pyjamas were not changed until family members rooted out nurses from their almost continual chat gaggle by the nurses station (and yes, it was chatting not patient matters they were talking about).

My brother wasn't washed or shaved. Bedlinen stained with faeces was left on the floor by his bed all day. His jeans stained with faeces were left in his locker. He was not fed and my sister in law - only 8 weeks after finishing chemotherapy - had to spend most of every day with my brother to ensure he was cared for.

Eventually my brother went home, as my sister-in-law could not bear the indifference with which the nurses seemed to treat a dying man.

And why wasn't I there? Because I was having an emergency life-saving operation at a hospital in the same trust.

But this is not the only time some of the Oncology nurses have treated patients with disdain. Earlier this year my friend's father was in the same ward and lo and behold he was treated in exactly the same way. Staff only intervened when pushed by family.

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Response from Deborah Dunn, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust is reviewing historical posts on Patient Opinion and I see that your post was not responded to.

I was very sorry to hear that the care of your brother in the final stages of his life was not what you would have expected. If you would like to discuss your concerns, or would like the Trust to investigate the issues you have raised and provide you and your family with a full response, please do not hesitate to contact me. My name is Deborah Dunn, Complaints Operational Manager and you can call me on 01865 223257 or email me at deborah.dunn@ouh.nhs.uk.

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