"EAU understaffed & stressful"

About: Colchester General Hospital

My grandmother was admitted with chest & urine infections. She's 90 years old and suffers with dementia. The ambulance which took her to the hospital had 2 EMT's on board,they were fantastic & very caring. On arriving at a&e staff were reasonably quick in assessing her & we probably waited just over the 4 hours to be found a bed on EAU. By this point my grandmother was fairly unresponsive & dehydrated, she was started on fluids & a broad spectrum antibiotic and placed in a side room. The staff that evening were clearly very busy but did what they could to reassure my mother and make my grandmother comfortable. My mother and I returned the next day to find my grandmother almost unrousable and a DNR placed in her notes.This had not been discussed with us,as a family we would have almost certainly agreed to this but we were not given the option. This lead to a SHO being sent into us,only after asking a rude nurse why we had not been informed of the DNR,the SHO said she was in the middle of a resus situation at the time she chose to see us (which worried me why she chose that particular time) was apologetic but unempathetic. As my mother put it too the SHO 'she is the only one I have'-we would have apppreciated being informed. All that being said when my grandmother was moved to a ward (West Bergholt) I couldn't fault it. The nurses were attentive and kind,although clearly very busy they spent that little bit extra time because they cared.

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me, using the reference “Geriatric Medicine at RDEE4-Colchester General Hospital at 13/02/2014 10:43:33”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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