"About appalling service provided ..."

About: Dorset County Hospital / Accident and emergency Weymouth Community Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as a relative),

I don’t think my story is going to be seen by people… I am a British citizen but my mother is a citizen of Ukraine. She is 64 years old, retired and comes and visits me during winter time. She is a healthy woman. My mother caught a virus and had her ears blocked, which never happened to her before. She got scared about it, as she lost about 90% of her hearing, so we went to see a doctor in the walk in centre in Weymouth.

The doctor checked my mother, and even my mother couldn’t hear a thing, said she will be fine, just give her some time, I can’t give her any medication for her ears... I believed the doctor! And we went home.

My mother’s ears didn’t get better over the weekend and she started to feel weakness in her limbs. By the end of the week she couldn’t walk! I rang 111 and after a few questions they sent paramedics to check on my mother. The paramedics came and checked my mother, asked her to stand up herself and walk to the bathroom. She struggled as hard as she could to stand up and she did it, and holding onto the walls it took her good few minutes to walk to the bathroom which is a couple of steps from her bedroom.

They observed it and said to me- your mother is fine… she can still stand up and even do a couple of steps… We can’t see anything wrong with her, so we won’t take her into the hospital…. I was so confused, I told them my mother was as fit as you and I on Tuesday and today she can’t even walk! The answer was We save lives, and now we are here checking on your mother instead and there is nothing wrong with her.

At that moment I felt really ashamed and even apologized. They scribbled about her temperature and took her details, and told me not to bother coming to the hospital. They said it seems to us that it is a consequence of the ear infection, so it is best to stay at home and your mother will get better herself with time. Don’t come to the Emergency Unit, it is not nice down there and you wouldn’t want your mother waiting in the corridor for hours”.

The next day, on Friday, my mother got worse. She couldn’t stand up herself any more. I washed her in bed and had to get nappies for adults as she was not able to walk to the toilet or even stand up and use a pot any longer. She is completely in her senses and talks, eats, etc but can’t move her legs or arms. She begged me to book a flight for her to go back to Ukraine to see proper doctors. I did so. She completely lost her trust in doctors in the UK.

Today my friend and I carried my mother downstairs and into my car. I’ve arranged a wheelchair for her at the airport. It was so hard! My mother went through hell making that journey. Humiliated, not being able to walk, go to the toilet, etc She arrived safely to Ukraine and was met by my family who booked her in to a good clinic over there.

Right now I am writing this and praying for her to be checked and treated properly in Ukraine. And I know they won’t say you’ll be fine” and smile in your face, when a person is clearly needing help. I don’t know what went wrong with my mother yet. But if something is going to happen to her because she didn’t get help when she needed it, I am going to go far, and I am not going to give up until people know the truth about the NHS!

All of my friends here are completely and utterly shocked by what that doctor and paramedics had to say to my mother. She looked up at them with her eyes full of hope, hope for help, and they turned her down. A completely healthy woman lost her ability to move. She is not paralysed and she feels her limbs but her strength is gone. Something has gone wrong in her body. Something that stopped her from being able to move and she should have been checked right away. I pray for no complications to follow.

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Response from Sarah Silverton, Patient & Public Experience Lead, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Rosella

I am very concerned to hear of your mother's experiences of NHS care. If you would like us to investigate what happened and support you in how to raise your concerns through the NHS complaints system, then please contact us. I am sorry that this was your mother's experience and we would like to make sure it does not happen again.

If you would like to email me or speak to me please contact me on

01305 254786 or sarah.silverton@dchft.nhs.uk

Yours sincerely

Sarah Silverton

Patient & Public Experience Lead

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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