"A & E Dementia Patient With Broken Hip."

About: George Eliot Hospital / Accident and emergency George Eliot Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

My 80 year old Mother-In-Law was taken to A&E after falling out of bed at a local care home whilst having a respite break. Thus causing her to break her hip. Our concerns were that she may have suffered another stroke ( she has Vascular Dementia) caused by a Stroke in 2004, when she also fell out of bed.

We raised our concerns about the possibility of her having another stroke which may have been the cause of her falling out of bed in the first place.

I understand that with Vascular Dementia, the patient experiences mini strokes or T. I. A'S often, but we felt as if we were not being listened too. We were hoping they would send her for some type of scan to confirm or deny the presence of another Stroke, A broken hip was obvious so that is all they concentrated on.

The staff were polite whilst we sat at the bedside. It just niggles me that our concerns fell on deaf ears. Her dementia is 200% worse. The day before she went into hospital you could have at least a coherent conversation with her. Over a period of 48hours, she is a shadow of her former self, sleeps most of the day and when she is awake she just sits and stares. She is now three weeks post op.

Her care on Nason Ward post op was a little disapointing, My Mother-in-law was served food and fluids, which was left on a table which was out of her reach. Because had not eaten or drunk, staff assumed she did not want it and removed it. My Mother-in-law indicated to us that she was thirsty.

Response's to requests for a bedpan were she will have to wait we are busy. Half an hour or so later was too late. By this time, Mother-in-law was lying in a soiled bed.

Though the Ward was seriously understaffed, the majority of staff were Health Care Assistants who tried their best to cope I suppose. I even overheard some members of staff commenting that on Staff levels for a particular shift.

Positive comments - A&E gave quick pain relief of opiates, quick Xray to confirm broken hip. Operated within 36 hours. Nice hip repair job.

Negative comments -Appeared to be unconcerned about our fears that a stroke might have taken place. Head scan was not offered to confirm either way the presence of a new stroke.

Drinking beakers were not in reach of patient. Because a person with Dementia does not eat their food does not always mean they are not hungry. They forget the meal is there or forget how to feed them selves. All it takes is a little hand feeding to resolve problem.

P. S -The lady who transported my Mother-in-law to her New Care home was very rude according to Care Home Staff. Turns out mother-in-law may have been a little aggressive in temperament due to her Dementia and pain. This lady whoever she was refused to help move mother-in-law from trolley to bed. Yes, I know this kind of patient may be difficult, but surely Ambulance staff are trained on how to handle patient's with varying degrees of needs. If not then I suggest they are given additional training.

The Ambulance crew who transferred my Mother-in-law to hospital at time of injury were faultless. Thank you.

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Response from Stroke Association, Stroke Association

We saw your post about your mother-in-law's experience on the Nason Ward and it sounds as though you are not happy about the level of care she received. I can I hope that I can provide some information about how you might be able to resolve the problem around this care, as well as providing some information about the Stroke Association and the ways in which we might be able to help you.

If you feel that you have been let down by the NHS and that you did not receive the appropriate levels of care, you could make a complaint. It is really important to raise your concerns to the NHS so that they can improve their services and resolve problems. It might be helpful to speak to the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) about the incident and how to complain.

PALS provide confidential support and help to resolve problems and concerns with the health service. You can find out who your local PALS officer is by telephoning NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.PALS are part of the NHS, but if you wished to complain with the assistance of an independent body you could contact ICAS, an advocacy service for people who wish to make a complaint about health and social care:


You may also wish to contact Patients Association, which is an organisation dedicated to campaigning about issues with healthcare services. They have a helpline where you can provide your views about a service; they undertake regular surveys of patient opinions about services; and they produce a newsletter called Patient Voice which contains recent news and opinion about the NHS. I have included their contact details below:

Patients Association

Helpline: 0845 608 4455

For further information about making a complaint, you may wish to view the following resource sheet. Please note you can download our full range of leaflets and factsheets free of charge from our website http://www.stroke.org.uk

Complaining about a health services


You may also be interested to hear about the work of the Stroke Association and how we may be able to support you and your mother-in-law. At the Stroke Association we have support workers across the UK, providing information, advice and support to people affected by stroke. Please contact our helpline if you think this service may be beneficial for you - the Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100. Sadly, not all areas provide funding for these services so we also campaign to raise awareness about stroke, demonstrating the need for our services, and encourage people to understand more about the long term effects of stroke.

Our current campaigns include the Life after Stroke campaign, which challenges some of the barriers to recovery, such as social care, benefits, NHS care and rehabilitation. We are also involved in campaigns against cuts to benefits and services, and we produce Stroke Care Reports which highlight positive and negative aspects of local stroke services. You may wish to join our campaign - this can be done on our website:


I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact us again. The Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100.

Yours sincerely

Stroke Information Service


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Response from Christine Longstaff, Head of Patient Partnership, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust

The response from the Stroke Assocation is very thorough and I hope that you found it to be beneficail. Staff at the George Eliot were sorry to read of your concerns and would encourage you to contact PALS. Our direct line number is (024) 7686 5550 with a 24 hour voice mail facility. Alternatively we can be emailed at: PALS@geh.nhs.uk,

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Response from Regional Head of Patient Experience, West Midlands Ambulance Service

Thank you for your feedback and I am sorry to her of your mother in law's experience. I would be grateful if you would consider contacting the Patient Experience Team on telephone number on 01384 246366 or via email at pals@wmas.nhs.uk so we can discuss your feedback further.

Kind regards

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