"Basic Nursing care levels"
About: East Surrey Hospital / General surgery East Surrey Hospital General surgery RH1 5RH
Posted by Lloyds family (as ),
I need to record the deterioration of my father's health during his three months on Abinger Ward simply so consideration can be given to communication with families in similar positions still in hospital.
On admission in February to East Surrey hospital, dad was diagnosed with high potassium levels, dehydration and a urine infection, he was able to transfer from his wheelchair to an arm chair. He could sit and eat dinner from a table, feeding himself.
Over the last three months the doctor explained that dad has gone through "cycles of dehydration" presumably the reason why he could not be discharged sooner.
Having recently transferred to Coppice Lea Nursing home it transpires that dad has bedsores on his feet and back - which was weeping and he can no longer straighten his legs. The care assistant said his teeth were very dirty and when I first visited him in the nursing home they were noticeably whiter, having got brown in hospital.
I cannot understand the level of care that would lead to this deterioration. Visiting weekly we could see the weight loss, which we began to assume was due to a medical issue. Why were we not asked to help with feeding and drinking if staff didn't have enough time to attend to him?
How did he get dehydrated in hospital?
Is no time taken to turn patients to avoid the ultimate in poor care - bedsores?
And the dignity of having help in brushing your teeth if you can't manage is that now overlooked?
I appreciate that he may have refused physio or food but doesn't there come a point when you consult us as family to help if you see a patient getting worse under your care?
We understand that the demands on staff are high these days and that dad, not having an acute condition, would not be a great priority but surely it would pay to have got him better to release the bed that was so sought after in the last days of his stay that he was transferred to Coppice Lea without our knowledge. The nursing staff were all very friendly on my visits but no one really seemed to know what was going on with him. We only wish he could have been discharged to a nursing home sooner where the level of care he now needs could be provided.