"My Mother's experience in Pilgrim Hospital"

About: Pilgrim Hospital

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My mother was diagnosed as a Palliative patient and remained in Pilgrim Hospital for a further 5 days until her death. The support care staff were very kind, but I found a number of the Staff Nurses totally devoid of empathy or understanding of my mother's situation. It was the less qualified staff who displayed the most care. When my mother's pain became unbearable she was prescribed morphine by the Doctor on his morning round. The morphine had not arrived by 2pm and I questioned this with a Staff Nurse who was unaware that morphine had been prescribed. Then started a search for a syringe driver and more delay. I found a semi recliner chair in the day room and spent the next four nights next to my Mother. On the first evening I spilt some hot chocolate on the floor. In the dimmed lights on the ward I did my best to clean it up, but some was left under the paper bag refuse container. The spilt chocolate was still there when my Mother died. Due to a narrow gullet my Mother had always had problems with tubes in her throat and had opted t ohave local anaesthetic for a previous hip operations. Due to her condition she needed to have a tube to filter the blockage in her stomach and this resulted in extreme discomfort in her throat. When I explained this to the Nurses and asked for something to help remove her pain I was told that the hospital could notr prescribe a throat spray and that we should buy some from a pharmacy. We did this but it had no beneficial outcome. At this point the MacMillan Nurse came to the resue and obtained from the hospital pharmacy a spray which relieved my Mother's pain. On her final day my mother was choking and being sick. I rang the bell and proceeded to do what I could to relieve her discomfort. No-one responded to the bell and when my mother was a little more comfortable I went out to the Nurses station where tow Staff Nurses were sat reading. I was extremely distressed and did make a complaint to the Sister on the ward. My Mother was dying from a blocked bowel and a few hours before her death the Staff Nurse put her on a bedpan. I understand the pressures the NHS is now under, but I sincerely hope no-one else ever has to experience what I experienced with my dying mother in Pilgrim Hospital and I certainly do not wish to be a patient in there. I am due to go into this hospital to have a tumour removed. I delayed the suurgery due to my Mother's situation. Now I have made an appointment with my local Gp to request that I go to Kings Lynn for the surgery.

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Response from Jennie Negus, Deputy Director of Patient Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

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Your story was really hard to read; I am so sorry for your experience. Could you contact me directly at: patient.involvement@ulh.nhs.uk and provide me with some more details as I would like the team at Pilgrim to look into this and reply to you. Feedback is so important to us to enable staff to hear patients and families voices and to be able to learn from their experiences and a few more details would enable us to focus a little more specifically where that learning is needed. Please once again accept my apologies and sincere condolences.

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