"Generally unpleasant."

About: Leighton Hospital

What I liked

This isn't the first time my 80+ year old father has been admitted to Leighton in recent years and now it fills me with dread. This stay in hospital is still ongoing so there may be something later that I can say I liked but so far I can't.

What could be improved

1. Communication. He gets moved between wards and nobody tells me (I'm his nok). They say phone to find out but the phones are often engaged and this evening I can't get any answer at all. This is exacerbated by the fact that wards have different visiting times, so I've turned up at mid-day thinking he is still in EAU to find he is now in another ward with different times and I'm not allowed in till 3pm. I live 1.5 hours drive away. Also, Staff should be able to give relatives a quick, clear statement of the patient's situation. When he was admitted this time i arrived a few hours later and waited for 1.5 hours before anyone was prepared to talk to me about his situation or let me check they had been given all relavant info by his Care Home. The couple of times I asked staff i was patronised; I was calm and polite, wondering just how long it would be before the one person I was told could help me would appear! When she did come she was good, but said she hadn't been told buy colleagues I was waiting for her.

2. Awareness and understanding of old people's issues especially those with Dementia like dad. Asking questions loudly (he isn't deaf!) is one of the worst things. Leaving food in front of him and expecting him to eat unassisted is another. Perhaps the worst has been making him wait (more than once) for a bed pan resulting in him wetting himself.

Anything else?

The particular needs of an old person like dad are not always taken on board at Leighton in my experience. For example I had to ask for sides to be put on the bed when i arrived as he can slide out. This happened to him in Leighton before, a couple of years ago he needed 6 stitches across his eyebrow as a result.

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Response from Leighton Hospital

I am very sorry that you have cause to raise concerns regarding your father's current admission to Leighton. I would welcome an opportunity to meet with you so that your concerns can be discussed fully and addressed.

I would like to reassure that the Trust is committed to improving the quality of care for the older person and have undertaken many actions to ensure this happens, including the provision of dementia training for our staff, the use of patient passports to ensure we understand the individual needs of the patient who has dementia and health screening to ensure that patients who present with early signs of dementia are given the appropriate treatment and support.

Please accept my assurance that we are keen to address your concerns. I am the Matron responsible the elderly care wards so please do contact me via the hospital switchboard on 01270 255141, bleep 3124 so that I can offer my support to ensure that appropriate care is provided.

Loraine Cornes


Emergency Care Division

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