"Carnkie Ward & MAU"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

My son (55 years of age) admitted to Carnkie Ward on 15.12.13, said to be suffering from cellulitis. The nursing care varied between appalling and non-existent. Patient's condition worsened - severe jaundice set in. He was so distressed by the lack of care and attention shown to him and other patients in his ward that he insisted on going home. This was agreed by doctors and he returned home with a Care at Home package. On 9th January, his worsened condition resulted in an emergency admission back to hospital in the middle of the night. He was put in a side room (No.6) in MAU. Members of his family visited daily. His medications were constantly late. The room was dirty - my shoes stuck to the floor on consecutive days - due to a spillage which had been left unattended. The doctors we spoke to were helpful and tried to answer our questions - but they were not quickly or easily available. The nurses (with one or two exceptions) seemed more suited to working an an old-fashioned Woolworth's Store - as they managed to avoid eye contact or positive response to questions. When a consultant had been talking to the family, she asked if there was anything with which she could help. My son said he needed an extra pillow. The doctor went out to the nurses station to request this. She then went away and we learned that her request for the pillow had been met with the response of: "We ain't got none" Later, my grandson asked a domestic worker who did produce a pillow, admitting that this was a regular problem, but she knew where she might find one. Another problem was that my son was constantly asking for his water jug to be re-filled. He had a very sore and uncomfortable throat. The water never seemed to arrive until: either his visitors asked for it - or they fetched it for him themselves. We checked to ensure that there was no reason for him not to be given water. My 20 year old grandson was so concerned about this apparent lack of care that he asked whether he could stay overnight with this father. This was agreed and one of the nurses said she would find him a pillow to make himself comfortable. The pillow never arrived. The following night, my daughter-in-law and their son stayed in the room overnight. Nobody even looked in to see whether they were in need of anything. My wife and I were with him when another consultant came to tell us that our son was suffering what seemed to be a major liver and kidney failure. He said they were still investigating this and asked my son if there was anything he wanted. My son replied that he just wanted to get out of this ------ hospital. This was agreed - Home Nursing again offered - but no ambulance could be organised until Monday or Tuesday. With the doctors' agreement, my two daughters arranged for a private ambulance to take my son home on the Sunday. That cost £350, but when my wife and I saw him at home the next day, he was relaxed and peaceful. He died in the early hours of Tuesday.

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