"Care for my father"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My father was admitted to Medway Hospital in September due to a fall as a result of his grade 4 brain tumour. My Father buried his wife the month previous and the tumour was now starting to take affect.

We needed Dad to live with us since the death of my step mum and through this period he was mobile with a walking device. I would help him out of bed everyday and as the day went on his feet and legs would start to work better.

I expected Dad to need help going to the toilet but he was in bed safely with the rails were up. This shocked me as the day before he needed to go to the toilet six times in a six hour period when being assessed in the hospital. I also thought I could shower Dad but he was stuck in bed. As the days went on he was in bed for the first three or four days. As a result it was obvious his legs would have virtually nothing in them for him to walk.

He was starting to sit on a chair for long periods of the day. He was on an air mattress at this point as there were concerns with pressure sores. However whilst on the chair he had no air cushion. It took a week for this to be issued although a previous company I worked for I know had delivered air cushions to the Hospital stores. I even found out the name of the person in the stores for Keats Ward to organise a cushion for my Dad.

I noticed that he wasn't being turned enough or had the right care with regard to the no cushion on his chair. He should be out if bed for only a few hours before getting the right care on the air mattress. He was out of bed for ten hours a day which would start to form sores on his body.

There was not accurate records kept about his fluids. He didn't have the right jug (which showed that he needed more fluids) so they didn't give him enough fluids.

Every time I visited his personal alarm was on the floor.

They had no desire to use a standaid or give sufficient time to my Dad to get him out of bed to help him walk bar small sessions with physio.

My Dad would not ask for anything and was not proactive. He needed prompting for everything. There care with him sitting in a chair all day was negligent and so was the care in general.

They corrected the personal alarm, the water jug, the air cushion, turning my Dad regularly and these aspects were addressed but alas too late.

I met with staff about our complaints and they admitted that they were elements which they were at fault.

One of members of staff had an attitude and not a word if empathy, we complained about her. Beyond her we experienced some fantastic support by care workers and nurses in charge and for that we were grateful.

I felt I was doing the work and analysis for staff when this should be something that relatives should have faith in the NHS.

Finally as my Dad deteriorated it was apparent to me that patients with these kind do conditions should have been in a stroke unit in my opinion and not a general ward. That said this particular ward should be assessed by the appropriate body and improvements suggested and made.

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Response from Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Please accept our apologies if the care on Keats ward fell below the standard expected.

Following the discussion with you at the time of your fathers admission we recognised that communication needed to improve to ensure better outcomes.Areas of care were recognised as being in need of improvement.

Medway Hospital does have a stroke unit, however this would not have been suitable for your father as he did not meet the criteria.

Patients with neurological conditions do not have a designated area but are admitted to a medical ward and a specialist neurology opinion can be sought should our consultants require it.

If you would like to discuss the issues raised about your father then please contact me on lisa.elliott@medway.nhs.uk

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Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your own and your fathers experience on Keats Ward. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience. I am very sorry that you have not had a positive experience and that you have concerns with regard to the care provided to your father. I am very keen to investigate what went wrong and take action to improve the service we provide. Without further details I am unable to fully do this so I would be very grateful if you would contact me so I can speak to you directly. You can contact me on 07787732741 Alison Streatfield Matron, Adult Medicine

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