"My mother's care at Rotherham hospital"
About: Rotherham Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics Rotherham Hospital Trauma and orthopaedics Rotherham S60 2UD
Posted by Frances (as ),
My 90 year old mother has just spent 13 weeks in RGH following a fall resulting in a hip replacement. She was treated by staff who were extremely kind and caring but also by staff who were unkind both verbally and in the handling of her. She experienced life on 3 different wards and on every ward it was the same - shortage of nurses - no one had enough time to spend with the patients. Indeed, on mother's last night in hospital the ward sister remarked that without the help of relatives that night they would not have finished the work in time for the night staff to come on because they had been so short staffed. During mother's stay she was only once asked if she would like a bath and this she refused because it was not very long after her operation and she was frightened of falling again. She had her hair washed only once in all the 13 weeks but it was not combed out or set properly. When asked on other wards she was on the nurses said they did not have the time to spend washing hair - they were far too busy. There are no hairdressers at the hospital and I have to ask why because this service used to be available. I feel that there should be designated staff for the bathing and hair washing and also hairdressers visiting or else a hairdressing salon where patients can attend. After all, cleanliness and taking pride in appearance is part of the patient's recovery and well being.
Because of the lack of nursing staff, everything seems rushed, you have to search to find staff to ask about your relatives progress/concerns. Patients are waiting ages for someone to attend when they press the buzzer and then when taken to the toilet they can be left quite a while for the nurses to return because they have had to go and see to someone else whilst the other patient is on the toilet.
My mother had a fall whilst in hospital and had she not told me I would never have found out about it because the nursing staff certainly did not bother to speak to me about this. Even though my mother told the nurse she could not walk and felt she was going to fall she still kept encouraging her to keep walking and then when they arrived at the toilet a cleaner was just coming out having mopped the floor. Consequently, my mother was walked onto a wet floor and fell down, banging her knee and all her left breast and rib cage on the zimmer frame she was using. This resulted in a badly bruised knee and her breast and left side of her chest was black and blue. This was only found out 5 days later when mother was sat washing herself and lifted up her vest to wash around her breasts. So in 5 days no one had bothered to wash her front nor check for any damage from the fall. We instigated an investigation and mother was sent for an x-ray and statements taken from the staff. The nurse who had taken mother to the toilet was a senior member of staff who had not even bothered to fill in an incident form, let alone tell anyone about the fall!!! Also some members of staff had roughly handled mother and were verbally unpleasant. I will say that these incidents were taken seriously and handled in a professional manner by the ward manager and the senior staff could not apologise enough. My mother has spent quite a bit of time in hospital over the past few years and each time I come away feeling very discontent with the service given and that the care of the elderly is sadly lacking and do wonder if all patients are treated in the same way as the elderly. I strongly feel that recruitment of more nursing staff is of paramount importance and would result in staff having more time to spend with patients thus aiding the efficiency of the wards and safety of the patients. Money should be spent on patient care not on such aspirations as aiming to have the best reception area in the country.
On a positive note, I must congratulate RGH on having a Central Treatment Room where patients go for their wounds to be dressed. No wounds are allowed to be treated on the wards. This certainly cuts down the cross contamination and the spread of infections. Mother had both her legs damaged whilst in hospital and these wounds were dressed by CTR staff in hygienic conditions thus preventing any infection. Indeed, we had to see the plastic surgeon at Northern General who felt surgery was not necessary because of the excellent treatment mother was receiving at CTR. Also, congratulations for the "Protected Mealtimes". I think this is an excellent idea to enable staff to assist patients who are unable to feed themselves.