"Cancer patient - terminal few weeks to live"

About: Leicester Royal Infirmary

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My Mother was admitted to LRI, A&E Majors in August at around 6pm one evening. Her friend was with her but was told to leave at 2am as they did not expect a bed in a ward to become available. Mum had bowel, liver, lung and brain cancer. She had a stomer bag and by this time could no longer understand what was happening. The staff told Mums friend that Mum would be looked after and they understood her needs. At 9am the next morning I called and Mum was still on a trolley and my brother immediately drove to the hospital. Despite telling staff over and over that Mum was terminally ill and needed help with even her basic needs she was left on a trolley and no-one even helped her to the toilet. Eventually she emptied the stomer bag all over herself, the floor and the trolley. Eventually as the xrays from her fall were inconclusive she was discharged back to the community hospital at around 3 in the afternoon. She then slipped and fell again and was sent back to A&E by the community hospital, alone in the ambulance and then left alone in A&E majors. My husband and I were called this time and we made the 200 mile journey to the hospital. By the time we arrived my brother was there with Mum and again she was on a trolley having no idea what was happening, This was now around 3 or 4 hours after her admittance. During this time she had not been offered a drink of water, a cup of tea, she was lying on a hard trolley, no one had taken her to the toilet and no-one had emptied her stomer bag. No one had spoken to my brother other than to say that they were trying to find her a bed. At this point a nurse arrived to take Mums blood pressure,etc, for the tick sheets. I refused to let her do this and asked for a bed, her basic needs to be dealt with, pain killers for her and a cup of tea. Oddly enough this all suddenly happened. One of the other nurses explained that nothing is given by mouth in case an operation was necessary but come on please, she had a few weeks to live and had simply no idea what was happening and was absolutely scared to death. The staff wanted to admit Mum into a geriatrics ward, Mum was only 71 and had been through so very much and I really did not want her to be sent to a ward and then be discharged back to the community hospital again. At this point the consultant doctor for the evening took over and found Mum a bed in a small emergency ward so that we could wait until morning for more action. During this time there was another lady in a room next to Mum. She was alone. She asked in the 4 hours we were there, 4 different nurses to take her to the toilet. In the end my husband went and asked if he could complain to the person in charge about the total lack of care and respect in A&E. Poor Mum was then the next day moved to geriatrics anyway as the community hospital refused to take her back as she was a fall risk. Mum died 2 weeks later in a nursing home that we found and moved her to. There is no communication in the NHS. None.

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Response from Leicester Royal Infirmary

Dear reviewer, Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. We would like to apologise that we have not responded to you in a timely manner. We're incredibly saddened by your lost and sorry to hear about your experience in the A&E department at the Royal - this is completely unacceptable. If you did not log this as an official complaint at the time and would like us to investigate this further, please send your mother's name, former address and date of birth to communications@uhl-tr.nhs.uk and we'll ensure this is dealt with by the appropriate person. Kind regards, Communications team Leicester's Hospitals

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