"My father's care at UHNS"

About: Royal Stoke University Hospital / Cardiology

(as a relative),

My father was admitted as an emergency to A and E with severe back pains. He was assessed and found to have an aortic aneurysm. He suffers with Parkinson's disease and the combination of pain and morphine left him highly distressed and confused.

He was admitted to CCU on an open ward where he was managed well particularly by the surgeons who explained things fully to us and reassured us there were interventions which could help and also the staff nurse (Caroline).

The staff allowed us to visits as often as possible to orientate my father and this helped his recovery. He was then moved to ward 220 where although pleasant there were constant staff changes and it was difficult for staff to get to know my father and for them to understand that his periods of confusion link to his drug regime and his inability to express himself fully.

I feel that all ward staff need an awareness course on Parkinson's disease as every ward he was on admitted being unsure of the drugs and their effects.

I also feel that all ward staff need awareness of mental health issues as when he was confused there was a variety of responses- some staff telling him off even though it was clear he was agitated for a reason.

He was transferred to ward 221 where he received excellent care and we really felt that he was treated as a human being not just a patient. Here there seemed a better ratio of staff, more mature staff and a general ethos of treating patients with dignity.

Following surgery he was moved to critical care where there was excellent ratio and pleasant staff, then quickly moved onto ward 106 where there are hardly any staff around, no one explaining things to family and even observations of support staff sharing how bored they were on one occasion. My father arrived in hospital fully continent but today during visiting time was left to wait 50 minutes when he said he needed the toilet for his bowels. This again left him undignified and distressed.

A general comment would be to sort out the garments- he has been in hospital for 4 weeks and has either been in a gown which is open at the back or pyjamas which are way too small and barely cover him. He reports feeling very uncomfortable. I think the staffing levels on ward 106 need reviewing and also a reminder of the charter asking for all NHS staff to have the conversation regarding professionalism.

I would be happy to be interviewed for a patient story as my father has experienced both fantastic care and substandard care within the same hospital. Surely the poor care should learn from the good examples. The surgeons are world class and we are eternally grateful that my father is still alive and preparing for life back in the community but as with the recent Stafford enquiry it is often the little things which make the biggest difference- the smiling staff on ward 221, the cleaner who chased after us down the corridor to ask how he was, the staff nurse from CCU who popped into another ward to see how he was progressing, the doctor on ward 221 who said it had made her day to see my dad smiling. We still have so much to share and learn.

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Response from University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Dear ‘Daughter observing practice’

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

If you would like us to investigate the issues you have raised, please call our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01782 676450 or email patient.advice@uhns.nhs.uk

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