"My concerns about care"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

(as a relative),

While visiting my mum who was admitted for an infection I saw the following things that need to be addressed with immediate effect:

1) 2 elderly ladies who would have eaten nothing during their meal times if it were not for their relatives being there due to being unable to reach their food and feed themselves. Since visiting hours are very limited, this could very easily lead to starvation.

2) An air bubble was passing up an IV line. The nurses were alerted to this and said not to worry as the machine would beep. The line had not been connected to the machine.

3) My mum's doctor advised that she be given a saline drip but this did not happen. I asked if this was correct and nurses said no drip was needed. Doctor came back and recommended drip again. Is there no communication?

4) Patients are left to languish in bed with no interaction or entertainment. What exactly are people meant to do all day? Television is £7. 50 a day. This will undoubtedly lead to depression and feelings of despair.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for your comments on your mum's recent stay in hospital. We take patient dignity and nutrition very seriously. The CQC (Care Quality Commision) visited QE Gateshead in 2012 as part of their national inspection into dignity and nutrition in NHS hospitals. We were pleased that our commitment to our patients was reflected in their report, and they found that patients in our hospital were treated with dignity and had their nutritional needs met. The five standards that the report passed the QE Gateshead on were: • Respecting and involving people who use services • Meeting nutritional needs • Safeguarding people who use services from abuse • Staffing • Records There may have been reasons why the two ladies on your mum's ward were not fed by the nurses during meal time, either related to their care, or they preferred to be fed by their relatives. We were saddened to hear you were disappointed with some clinical aspects of your mum's care. If you would like us to look into your comments further, you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Team on 0800 953 0667 or pals@ghnt.nhs.uk. You can also visit their website www.qegateshead.nhs.uk/pals. We do provide some free activities for patients including books to read, television in most ward day rooms as well as our chaplains who are available 24/7 to support patients who may be struggling with feelings of depression or despair. We also provide a volunteer service who are available to provide company for patients if they would like it.

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