"Lack of system in handling personal items"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

(as a relative),

My mother was admitted to North Tyneside General Hospital by ambulance after the carers at her Extra Care establishment found her on the floor in her night clothes. She appeared to be unharmed but, at 91, frail and with dementia, they had no way of offering more intensive support to see if she was safe to stay at home.

On her 3rd day in hospital I noticed her wedding ring was missing. My sister (who lives more locally that I do) enquired of A&E, the ECU, Ward 22, all places she had been in the first 2 days, but none had any record of having found a wedding ring. This is very distressing. It might have been more so for my mother, a widow, if she was more aware of what was going on. None of the places she had been appeared to have had any interest in or concern for her personal effects.

Then, upon being discharged - 8 weeks later to a nursing home - she arrived with all her personal belongings including a handbag, and my sister realised Mum's keys were missing. They were for her extra care flat, and weren't actually needed as she wasn't returning there, but these keys comprised a Yale-type key on a keyring along with a security fob, a plastic 'green man' key fob, but also, attached to a float ball (the sort yachtsmen use to ensure keys don't sink if they go overboard) and on which her name was written in black ink. I had bought the float ball and attached it to Mum's keys so she couldn't lose them down the side of the chair. Altogether a bulky and distinctive item. Again, no-one on Ward 3 had any idea where they were, they hadn't been found and there appeared to be no 'lost property' process.

I am disappointed that not only were Mum's personal effects looked after more carefully, but at the complete lack of system in handling personal items, or interest in ensuring they're kept safe.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Annie Laverty, Director of Patient Experience, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Annie Laverty

Dear Madam,

I was very sorry to read your story about your Mum's care and the personal items that have gone missing. I can imagine just how distressing this is for you - given that one of these items was her wedding ring.

We take this matter very seriously indeed and you can appreciate how keen I am to find out more information and respond with some urgency.

I wondered if you would be kind enough get in touch with me directly? It is difficult for us to investigate your concerns while they remain anonymous. My email is annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk

Many thanks for bringing this to my attention,

Annie

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Madam, I was very sorry to read your story about your Mum's care and the personal items that have gone missing. I can imagine just how distressing this is for you - particularly when one of these items was her wedding ring. We take this matter very seriously indeed and you can appreciate how keen I am to find out more information and respond with some urgency. I wondered if you would be kind enough get in touch with me directly ? It is difficult for us to investigate your concerns while they remain anonymous. My email is annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk Many thanks for bringing this to my attention, Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story