"8 tortuous days in Southport Hospital"

About: Southport & Formby District General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a carer),

My father has bone cancer and had to be admitted to a general ward for a procedure. His usual pain relief is codeine, paracetamol and oramorph.

Except for at night, all they gave him was paracetamol because 'the others are kept in the controlled drugs cabinet so we'd have to get them separately'.

For the first four days, no one helped him wash or dress, he was in the same pyjamas as he was admitted in despite the stock of clean clothes brought in by us every day. It took my mother being found in tears by a doctor for someone to act.

When admitted he had a small pressure ulcer which the district nurse had been successfully treating and it was well on the way to being cured. The nurses refused to continue her treatment regime and changed the type of cream being used. It is now twice the size it was, has gone from grade 1 to grade 3 and he has a rash from the dressing. The promised pressure mattress never materialised.

The general atmosphere on the ward was totally inconsiderate. Sleep was difficult enough with dementia patients calling out and wandering around. It was made worse by the lack of attempts by staff to keep noise down - for example the water jugs were changed at around 5:45 each morning.

The food was also very unpleasant - cold, rubbery toast, congealed macaroni cheese etc. The only food which was edible was the sandwiches. Given he has cancer, is struggling to get enough nutrition and feels sick a lot of the time being presented with unappetising food was hardly going to encourage him to eat. I am not therefore surprised that he lost 2kg in 8 days.

All in all, with a few shining exceptions, the staff I met seemed uncaring and thoughtless. The 6Cs urgently need reinforcing on this ward.

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Response from Southport & Formby District General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to write about your father's experience. It would be helpful if you were able to contact our customer care team with further information so we can investigate more thoroughly. Their telephone number is 01704 704956. Alternatively, email soh-tr.pals@nhs.net