"Avoid if elderly"

About: William Harvey Hospital

An elderly relative was admitted for few days early July into CDU ward. General lack of respect for the elderly, as often found in hospitals nowadays. I appreciate there could well be staffing issues which do not help. Similar in Medway hospital about a year ago but note that staff there found plenty of opportunites to chat on their mobile phones in quiet corners ! This patient has a history of swollen ankles/legs and when I requested a footstool to prevent further leg problems, I was told there was not one available as all being used. Staff said other patients in CDU also had legs problems. When I offered to go and buy one, magically a spare one was found, presume the others just had to chance further outbreaks. No chairs are provided/stored in CDU for visitors so I remained standing during my visit as did not feel it appropriate to sit on the bed. Nothing clearly explained to my relative although fully compos mentis. Other wards might be different. On discharge some of her possessions were not handed to her and even though her name was clearly shown on them they were left for us to enquire/trace. Do our elderly have to be treated like this ? Not suprised this authority has now been put into special measures.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback and I am really sorry to hear about your experience and that of your relative. I will ensure that we discuss this as a team to see what additional support can be given.

You may be confused by the use of iPods, which look like phones. All of our patient clinical data including observations are captured electronically and nursing staff and medical staff are alerted to any specific clinical information which needs a response from the team.

Please do email me if you would like to talk through the experience, we do take feedback seriously and use it to help improve our services. My email address is Julie.pearce1@nhs.net

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