"Disappointing"

About: James Paget University Hospital

I am family carer to my 90 year old aunt. She was admitted to A&E several weeks ago after complaining of severe stomach pains and is also waiting for a hip replacement.She is unable to walk unaided and is frail. Her admission via A&E: I visited her on the following 2 days and found the following examples of poor practice: Name spelt incorrectly on board over her bed Drinks - coffee (cold) and water jug placed beyond her reach TV on ward blaring out music /no one ambulant enough to get up and watch it or turn it off. Hot and stuffy room - hot day, all the windows closed. I telephone the ward 4 times on the 2nd day (Friday) to find out what would happen over the w/e Each time I spoke to a diferent person and got a different story, including being told that they could not give out information about a patient over the 'phone. At mid day I was assured that she would be transferred to a Community Hospital for the weekend and discharged on the Monday if well enough. At 12.50, after having cancelled her carers, cleared out her 'fridge etc etc I received a call from yet another member of staff saying that they were about to discharge her home. I refused to accept this.She eventually came home on the Monday. I was misinformed about her arrival time and spent over 2 hours at her bungalow waiting for her to arrive. Subsequently I learned that she had a fall while on the ward. I was not informed about this at the time and the information came via her social worker who learned about this when she arrived at the hospital to make a pre- discharge assessment and found that she was already on her way home. My aunt has been instructed that in order to have her hip replacement she has to attend a Joint Replacement Education Group at the hospital .It is extremely difficult to get her there because of her disabilities - she last attended via Hospital Transport for a 2 pm appointment; she was picked up at 10.00 and and arrived back at 6.00 pm totally exhausted. She is also very deaf and won't wear a hearing aid, has virtually no short term memory and sleeps much of the time. Her bungalow has already been fully adapted to wheelchair standard and she has carers 4 x daily. She has also been assured that post operatively she will be transferred to a Community Hospital to recover, and for physio and rehab.I cannot see any useful purpose in forcing her to attend this event and have telephoned the hospital several times in an attempt to talk to someone about it, but have found staff unhelpful. I have written to the consultant's secretary several weeks ago but have had no response, complained through PALS and been told that I can probably go instead (I have other commitments that day ) . The Senior Partner at my aunt's GP practice has told me that he will also write to request that she does not have to attend the Group meeting.

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Responses

Response from James Paget University Hospital

I'm sorry that the experience you and your aunt have had has not met your needs. I would urge you to get back in touch with our PALS team please to see if we can resolve the issues. I have sent your comments to the A&E team for their attention. Ann Filby, Head of Communications

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