"My mother,63, was admitted to ..."

About: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

My mother,63, was admitted to HH with a fractured hip due to a fall at home( she suffered from osteoporosis). Due to sepsis after her operation she had to remain in hospital on lime ward where her condition deterioated and she sadly passed away in Feb 08. The staff were very good and did the best to their ability to make sure she was comfortable although actually they were very stretched(under staffed) and as she was so physically weak she could not water herself or feed herself and we found that she went long periods(usually until visiting time, when we would hold cup or spoon) before anything would pass her lips. She also fractured her other hip as a result of being turned as she was bed ridden. Its a sad last few weeks for an amazing wife and mother to suffer so much pain and indignity... (dressings for pressure sores not changed and smelling, catherta over flow etc) we really do not blame the nurses as I do know how busy they are but I do blame them for her last sad lonely week. The ward was closed due to a vomitting bug and we were not allowed to see our mum (even tough we are all fit and healthy) and even though they had put her on pallative care we were not informed till she had passed into a coma. we never got to see her concious and she must have thought we had deserted her to die alone. Even her consultant who ran through her post mortem results with us was mortified that we were not allowed to visit her when they knew she was dying.To top it all off, when she was in her coma with six grieving members round her bedside on the main ward, the nurses decided to have a water fight to celebrate a student doctor leaving.... the laughter and screams of excitment are all very well but not next to someone who is dying. There is a time and a place.

What could be improved

The follow up care between nurse and doctor. The nurses were not entirely sure what was wrong with mum ( either that or not forth coming with information ) More staffing for pallative care patients. I think awful to think of someone scared dying alone when people can be with them holding their hand.

Anything else?

Allow the dying patients some privacy.... side room... not in main ward in view of all other patients and visitors. better communication between staff.

Story from NHS Choices

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