"Don't go here if you're old"

About: Maidstone District General Hospital

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Our Mum was admitted with infected leg ulcers. She was put in a side ward and neglected despite 8 clear stool screens. She was moved 6 times on one ward, and spent time on 4 wards in all over three months. In a 3 month stay the doctors did not once ask to talk to the family, despite us visiting almost every day (when the hospital wasn't closed). Mum was given multiple courses of strong antibiotics, and lost her appetite. She lost over a third of her body weight and at time of discharge hadn't eaten for 2 months. She only really drank when we visited. She was left without underwear despite regularly kicking off her bed covers, leaving her exposed to patients, staff and visitors. Eventually the hospital decided there was nothing they could do for her, stopped all but the most basic treatment (including stopping recording her fluid intake and output) and told us she could be discharged. We asked for a family meeting which the medical staff did not deign to attend. They discharged her with a note to the GP that she had been referred for 'palliative care in the community', a term they had never used to us , and a 'referral' that hadn't been made. The nurses gave us a copy of Mum's Individual Needs Portrayal that was both incomplete and full of errors. A Continuing Healthcare Checklist was also incomplete and when challenged the nurse who completed it had clearly no idea what it was for and had not read the guidelines which were attached to it. All in all it was an appalling lack of care both medical and nursing that has contributed to our Mum going from being mobile with a frame, living alone with support to being bed bound.

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Response from Maidstone District General Hospital

We are extremely sorry to hear of your mother's and your family's recent experience at Maidstone Hospital. We would like the opportunity to discuss this in greater detail with you and would kindly ask you to make contact with us at mtwpals@nhs.net or alternatively call us on 01622 224960, kind regards The PALS Team (SG)

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