"Care ok- until they discharge you"

About: Hull Royal Infirmary

My mother (86 years old)was admitted for a minor operation to Ward 90 that should have involved a very short stay but there were complications which resulted in her having to stay longer. Whilst the hospital seemed a lot better in terms of atmosphere and cleanliness than last time I visited, and the staff were very kind to her, there were a couple of aspects that gave cause for concern. When mums meds were administered, nobody seemed to check she actually took them. On two occasions I had to make sure that she did- It was over an hour since she had been given them. I asked for a section 2 care assessment because I did not think she could go home to live on her own. I asked on 4 occasions and it never happened- indeed I was discouraged from asking for it it and told by 2 nurses that to insist on it would mean mum staying there for weeks. As mum appeared to be getting more and more lethargic I decided to try and arrange for a convalescent place in a care home. As soon as the care home manager said they would take her, it was as if Ward 90 washed their hands of any responsibility for her well-being. I was not told a definite day for her discharge.I asked Ward 90 to phone me after mum had been assessed by the manager of a care home I had arranged to visit. When she was discharged, nobody contacted me to tell me and mum spent 4 hours in the patient discharge lounge waiting for transport that the ward staff had forgotten to book. I only knew she was discharged at all when the care home I had arranged for her phoned me to ask whether she would be arriving that day. The care manager said she got the impression that as soon as the ward staff realized there might be a possibility of her leaving they had started the paper-work but did not seem concerned about informing me.! When I arrived, I insisted that she went back to Ward 90 as her tracheotomy dressing was 4 days old, oozing smelly discharge and nobody had thought to change it , provide any dressings or instructions for how it was supposed to be cared for. (I had asked previously whether it ought to be changed.) I can see the staff are over-worked and under pressure to free beds, but standards of basic care and consideration should be maintained.We are not all care professionals but even a lay person can see when basic care and consideration are lacking.

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Response from Hull Royal Infirmary

Thank you for placing your posting on the NHS Choices website. We are sorry to read of your recent experience and we will ensure that the staff concerned are made aware. We hope that it has now been possible for your mother to be discharged from hospital and is recovering well. If you would like to discuss this matter further with us, please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service on (01482) 623065 or email on pals@hey.nhs.uk . If you would like to become more involved in decisions about local healthcare, we are recruiting members. By becoming a member you receive our quarterly newsletter, find out more about your local NHS and help us improve local services. You can also attend our ‘medicine for members’ sessions and respond to questionnaires. You don’t need any special skills or experience to become a member; you just need an interest in local health services. There is no commitment, you can get involved as much or as little as you choose. For more information please either email foundation.trust@hey.nhs.uk or telephone the Corporate Affairs office on telephone number (01482) 675165. Thank you once again for taking the time to provide us with your views on local NHS services. Kind regards, Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

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