"The lack of care is frightening"

About: Lincoln County Hospital / Accident and emergency Lincoln County Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My father, aged 80, developed chest pains and was taken to A&E and subsequently discharged as tests did not show any heart problems.

During the night and on the following day his chest pains became more severe so we returned to the hospital for further tests. We explained to each nurse and doctor who came to see him that my father has Alzheimer’s, we showed them a typed list of all the medication he was on and offered to go home and get the medication if they needed us to do so. The list was taken from us and then returned – 2-3 times, we were not asked to get the medication he was on.

My Father was taken to the EAU ward, again we showed the doctor the list of medication he was on, the list was again taken from up and then returned. On the EAU ward the decision was made to keep my father in overnight – we took the nurse looking after him aside to make sure she was aware of the Alzheimer’s medication he needed that evening. We were told not to worry, he would be looked after.

The following morning when I phoned the hospital to find out how my father was, the nurse said he was very confused. At the time I did not think anything of that as I was more focused on the chest pains. We arranged to go to the hospital later that day.

When we arrived he was in a terrible state, confused, distressed and very anxious. I asked if he had been given his medication and was informed that he had refused the medication. I asked which medication he had refused, he had refused pain relief. No other medication was given to him.

One of the tablets he takes is to treat the anxiety which explained why he was so distressed. He looked wide eyed and scared.

The lack of care was frightening.

Following the doctor’s round the process to discharge my father was set in motion as the chest pains were thought to be muscular rather than heart related. This was around 12: 15. I returned to work and went back to the hospital at 16: 15 where he was still waiting for his discharge papers and a prescription from the pharmacy. I asked why it was taking so long, pointing out that my father had now been without his Alzheimer’s medication for well over 24 hours. Within 5 minutes the discharge papers and painkillers appeared – the painkillers were paracetamol and ibuprofen which we could have purchased at any pharmacy and would have got home far earlier to get him back onto his medication.

My issue is that despite describing my father’s condition to each of the medical staff attending to my father, despite offering to go home and get the medication he needed the staff did not give him anything. Amongst the list of medication we shared with the hospital was one for his blood pressure, so he was without these also. My Mother is now very distressed at the thought of my Father needing to go to the Lincoln County Hospital in the future.

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Responses

Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Belt406

I am extremely sorry to read the comments about your fathers stay with us. The poor communication that you describe is far below the standards that we expect from our staff, and it is clear that this has been a distressing experience for all involved. In order to properly explore and learn from this, we would be very grateful indeed if you could make contact with Sharon Kidd, Patient Experience Manager (01476 464560, 07799 868206 or sharon.kidd@ulh.nhs.uk). This would help us to look at what went wrong and help prevent this happening again in future.

David Cleave

Acting Head of Nursing, Medicine

Lincoln County Hospital

Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Belt406

Please accept our sincere apologies. I take these concerns very seriously and as such I would like to be able to investigate this further and would be grateful if you could contact Sharon Kidd. I want to investigate to look at the non-recognition by the nursing staff and also why the medication was not prescribed when this information was given to medical staff/nurses. We are currently working with the pharmacist on MEAU looking at the reconciliation of patient’s drugs on admission to MEAU.

Regards

Wendy Rojas

Ward Sister MEAU

Lincoln County Hospital