"The care of an old, partially sighted, deaf lady."

About: North Middlesex Hospital

I have been visiting a 96 year old lady who has been on S2 since Boxing day. She has broken her arm and is thus unable to move without help because she usually walks with a frame. She has asked me to write and voice the following: 1. Even though her notes state that she is almost blind, drinks are put beyond her reach. 2. She finds difficulty in using the thin plastic cups because she tips them over and can't see to fill them with water. Requests for a cup with a lid have been ignored on several occasions. Even the physiotherapist was unable to get one for her. 3. Some of the nurses are unsympathetic to her broken arm and turn her on to it or lift her by it. In her words " it takes a long time for it to settle down afterwards!' This lady is an independent ex headmistress with an OBE, who doesn't want to be a nuisance but she does need to be treated with compassion.

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Response from North Middlesex Hospital

We deeply appreciate your efforts in informing us of our patient's concerns. This kind of feedback is always important to us. In response, I am aware the deputy ward manager has spoken personally to the patient, discussed her concerns and has apologised. Risk assessments including nutritional assessment, moving and handling are undertaken for all patients and are updated regularly and I can reassure you that at no time was our patient's hydration or nutritional welfare compromised but nonetheless we sincerely apologise for any discomfort or loss of dignity that she may have felt. We’ve discussed all the issues you have raised with the ward team and made some changes as a result. Aside from the regular nursing notes as a guide, we have now put a special note on the patient's bedside to ensure all staff are made aware of her concerns. In addition and as a direct result of your comment the ward matron has ordered new cups which meet the needs of our elderly patients better. We have also ensured that our regular nurses on the ward are assigned to our elderly patients. Once again, thank you very much for your feedback. Email: chris.danson@nhs.net General Manager

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