"My mum's care at Stafford"

About: Stafford Hospital / Colorectal surgery

(as a relative),

My mother was admitted to Stafford hospital in April 2008. It was an emergency admission at about midnight. On arrival at a&e, they took my mother through one part & told my husband & I to go in the waiting area. We sat there for over 2 hours, until my husband went & asked the receptionist what was happening. She told him to sit down but he didn’t, he wanted to know where my mother was, then we were allowed to go in to her. It was 4am when we left the hospital. The next day they operated. She was very poorly we were told she make not make it. She had a strangled hernia & gangrenous bowel. She managed to get over it and was recovering ok, as we thought.

One night, when we went, she said she rang for the nurse to help her go to the toilet because while she was in there she went off her legs so she needed help, but when the nurse came the nurse told her to get out of bed herself, the nurse said couldn't help as she was pregnant. My thought was that if she couldn't do the job she should not be working.

Another night, when she rang to go to the toilet, a nurse never came to her, and so she wet the bed. She rang again, this time a nurse did come, but when she told her that the bed was wet, the nurse told she would have to lie in it until the next day. We went to visit everyday.

She was not washed or bathed. It was 3 weeks before they took her for a bath and wash her hair & that was only done because I had to keep on to them to wash her hair. However, there was faeces on the floor and rails and it stunk in there.

She was told she might be able to come home on the Monday, so we went to the hospital with her things to find her in a bed. She looked worse than when we first took her into hospital. She had caught the noro virus. She was not getting any better. When we visited we had to wash and get dressed in apron and gloves, but from what we saw, the cleaners were just walking in and out of all the wards, not washing or getting dressed up, even going in to the isolation wards. Also some of the nurses didn't bother, so why were we asked to dress up?

I had at one point asked if some help would be available with her when or if she finally came home, but all they said that there wasn't anybody.

During the last week she was in hospital (4 weeks by now) mum was complaining of bed sores on her heels. When we saw them they looked as though she had not been treated. It was at this point I said I have had enough, I want to take her home. They let me take her back to my house. When she was discharged, the backs of her heels were red raw and skin protruding off the heel, so she could not wear any shoes or sandals. When we got mum home we contacted our doctor who arranged for the district nurse to visit. When the nurse saw the state of the bedsores she was disgusted that they had been allowed to get as bad as they were. She said this condition should have been treated much sooner. Mum eventually was able to look after herself and went back to her bungalow but she is still being treated (in March 2009) for sores on the back of her heels.

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