"2) Treatment of the Elderly needed care"

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

I am following on for my message of Wednesday 26th February 2014, my mum fell down and landed up in West Mid hospital. From our experience and from talking to other people whose relatives have been treated in the wards: 1) The nurses work very hard 2) No one knows how to put on the Aspen Collar, how to adjust it or help to put it back should an elderly patient with onset of dimentia remove it (which my mother did). 3) no one can take the initiative to put it back on, just in case they cause further damage (but surely more damage is likely if the collar is not on!) 4) We decided to stick the velcrose down with tape so that my mother did no remove it again. 5) The collar should have sat under her chin, it was actually sitting under her lips and moving into her mouth, hence the area looked really sore. 6) The cushioning that her chin should have sat on, somehow was removed, so the little bits that grab the velcrose were causing irritation, we decided to get tissue fold it and stick it down with tape to give her some relief, another visitor whose fathert had the same issues helped me to adjust the collor to sit under her chin, it was not difficult, whether its right we are not certain, but there was not one Medical Professional at the ward who was willing to make sure the collar was sitting as it should do. Why can't anybody in a Ward caring for people with bone fracutures not know who to put on a Aspen Collar! If this ward was a Private Service Business they would not survive. How is it that no one is trained to use the appliances that are used. Surely nurses on the ward, one in particular who was so personable, intelligent and bright could be trained to do this and given the responsibility and the rewards to perform such tasks - she was better than most of the doctors at hand. I tried to ask a doctor and seek his advise as to how we could secure the collar so that my mother did not cause further damage to herself and cost the NHS more money - his reply was "I am not a surgeon" - Lord Help us! The nurse I mentioned before was what I would image a realy true nurse to be. Training - Training - Training required!

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Responses

Response from West Middlesex University Hospital

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Since you posted your feedback we have now been in touch with you in person to discuss the issues you have raised. We apologise that your mother’s care was not of the highest standards we aim for, for all our patients. We have explained to you that we are arranging additional training for staff in the use of the Aspen collar and will ensure that in future there is always someone on duty who can use this. You also raised some important issues around communication, and ensuring that when a relative visits that there is a member of staff available for them to talk to who is familiar with the patient’s treatment plan.

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