"Lack of dignity, communication, compassion!"

About: Tameside General Hospital

My mum was admitted last Monday onto MAU. I visited on the Tuesday having travelled 200 miles. My mum has end stage dementia and is unable to communicate. She was to be discharged on the Tuesday, having been deemed medically 'fit'. I tried to give her a drink as she had not had anything according to staff nor eaten. Every time she tried to drink she coughed and choked. The notes from the care home she came from clearly indicated that in recent days she had trouble swallowing. Apparently a SALT assessment had been requested by a MH team. It hadn't been done and MAU were willing to discharge. I was worried she may aspirate and stressed the need for an assessment. Eventually after I left I received a phone call confirming that she did in deed need an assessment and would be kept in. Late that evening she was transferred to another ward. Wednesday no SALT assessment. So in effect 2 days no fluids, no food. When I asked about fluids I was told they would see if she was clinically dehydrated!! Despite having very little fluid for 2-3 days. I travelled up on Thursday just as they were transferring my mum out of the bay to a side ward. The sister informed me they were querying c diff! A sample had been taken and results should be back the following day. When I rang they weren't . I was told Monday. They weren't! The side room she was moved into had no blinds or curtain. When I queried about it I was told it would cost the ward money! plus is wasn't on the ground floor and not over looked! Although when you look out the window there are floors above in the surrounding buildings all with windows! Every time I ring I don't get any info of substance. Infact on a number of occasions the nursing staff have not been able to tell me anything of any value ie if she eaten, hydration, further loose stools...he basic stuff! Last week I had a conversation with my mums consultant who came and assessed whilst on MAU. He stated we were looking at end of life/palliative care. This was confirmed by the ward doctor in a meeting on Monday. However one member of staff who confirmed he'd not met my mum before nor was able to tell us how much she had eaten or drunk...was able to say she wasn't palliative! I requested last week a continuing healthcare asssessment and was dismissed. I rang the social workers and left a message. Heard nothing further... In the midst of this is my mum a 67 year old lady, lying in her own urine and faeces unable, to communicate. Her bottom is excoriated, her BMI has dropped to 18 and yet no one seems concerned. I would appreciate a response as to why there is such a shocking and disconnected approach to care of the elderly. Your mission statement has the following themes which apparently underpin your mission and values...these being dignity! respect! trust and partnership! Which I feel you have not fulfilled I. Any of these with regards to my mother! This is a short version of the events to date so far..........

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Please accept my apologies this is certainly not the care we expect for any of our patients. I am really concerned about this I would like this to be acted upon personally. Please could I ask you as a matter of urgency that you contact Matron Sarah Williams on 0161 922 5201 Sarah.Williams@tgh.nhs.uk or our PALs service on 0161 922 4466. Or you may wish to contact Healthwatch Tameside to act as liaison with the trust

Kind regards

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

’Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved? Please contact John Goodenough, Director of Nursing at


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Response from Peter Denton, Healthwatch Manager, Healthwatch Tameside

Healthwatch exists to be the local consumer champion for health and care services. We use all the stories posted on Patient Opinion to help us to udnerstand where services are delivering good quality as well as where they can improve. Where we are particularly concerned about the care someone has received with pick this up directly with the NHS Commissioner (who pays for the service) as well as the care provider.

If you would like to give us more information, or if you think we can help you to have your concerns addressed please do get in touch. Our phone number is 0161 339 4985 or you can e-mail us confidentially at info@healthwatchtameside.co.uk

We agree with you and the hospital's response - this is not the quality of care we expect for people in Tameside.

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