"Poor information sharing and care by professionals"

About: Stepping Hill Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My Mum is an 84 year old with a heart condition, a mass on her bowel and unable to walk far. Mum was admitted 4 weeks ago with rectal bleeding and was taken off Warfarin immediately. After unsuccessful colonoscopies she was scanned and found to have a mass on her bowel, as this is a scan they cannot tell if it is a polyp or cancerous growth.

Mum was discharged and almost sent home without her blood thinners. This of course is very dangerous as she could have had a massive stroke or heart failure. It was me who had to point out she hadn't been put back on Warfarin. The consultant came along after a junior doctor raised the concern for me. He prescribed it again as she cannot take aspirin or Clopadogryl. We were told an Endoscopy would be arranged again to try to get a biopsy of the mass on her bowel and this would be done as an outpatient.

We were sent an appointment to visit Nurse Clinic in the Bobby Moore Unit and assumed they were going to discuss Mum's options with regard her colonoscopy and bleeding, but no we were turned away and told we should never have been called into clinic as she has already been referred for colonoscopy. We were told a multidisciplinary team were meeting to discuss her in the next week or so.

In the meantime Mum bled again and was admitted on Sunday morning. Various doctors came to see her and I kept telling them her memory isn't good and she gets confused about what is wrong with her. Despite this, question after question is fired at her which I have to interject to answer for her. One doctor even gave a very long speech about her problems and then asked her "what does that all represent to you? " To which Mum just looked totally confused. He prescribed her an extra water tablet as he could hear fluid on her lungs. This was never given to her on A and E or on the wards. In fact on her first admission into hospital in the stroke unit E1 they didn't give her any water tablets at all until I pointed out she wasn't having them. That went on for a week.

Having a severe leaking heart valve with regurgitation it is extremely important she takes water tablets. They had all the information on her prescriptions as we had taken them in.

So she has now been referred again for the second time for a colonoscopy for which we had to make a visit from the ward B6 to the Bobby Moore Unit to be told this, despite our last visit being told she didn't need referring as she is already on the list for one. To say that it is an utter and complete shambles is an understatement.

She has now been sent home with a box full of syringes and a yellow bucket that myself nor the rest of the family know what they are and are relying on my confused mother with a very poor memory trying to tell us what they are for and who is administering them. We informed Ward E1 on her first admission she was not to be told or informed about anything serious or complicated that requires the taking in of information without us being in attendance and they admitted they realised she doesn't have capacity. My daughter and my husband are witnesses to all these apparent failings by your hospital.

Fortunately, my Mum is a stubborn strong woman who just wants to get on with her life and is oblivious to the danger she is being put in. She switches off from it all as it is obviously easier for her. She struggled to prepare for a colonoscopy on Ward E1, am not sure how she will cope at home without our help to prepare for another one. This should have been done before allowing her to come home. I am anticipating her being admitted again before anything is done as she is at risk of bleeding again.

Dialling for ambulances time and time again and going through A and E to be admitted and sent home again is a complete waste of resources, time and money when this could all have been sorted out as an inpatient. I believe there are various options available to the doctors to get a biopsy from the bowel without putting my Mum through all this as an outpatient. I am in no way criticising the care by staff on the wards as she has been well cared for by them, it is the decision makers, lack of sharing of information and total disregard of our concerns for my Mum.

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Response from Pam Purdue, Head of Patient Experience, NHS North Derbyshire CCG

Hi, I am responding to your post as I work for one of the organisations that buys health services on your behalf from Stepping Hill Hospital. One of our roles is to ensure that people get high quality services.

If they do not, and they report this to the hospital, we want to make sure that they get a response showing what was done as a result of their issue.

I would be keen to know if you let the hospital know directly about the service you have received and if so, what their response was. Perhaps you would like to contact me on the following email address: pam.purdue@northderbyshireccg.nhs.uk

I would be happy to try to support you.

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Response from Stroke Association, Stroke Association

We noticed your post and thought you may be interested to hear about the work of the Stroke Association and how we may be able to support your family. Stroke Association is the leading charity in the UK changing the world for people affected by stroke.

Our Stroke Helpline is there for anyone who has been affected by stroke in any way or concerned about their risk of having a stroke. You may want to know more about stroke and its effects, how to prevent a stroke from happening, be looking for practical information and support, or would simply like someone to talk to. The Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100. You can also email us at info@stroke.org.uk. We also have a range of services across the UK, providing information, advice and support to stroke survivors and their families. You can find out if there is a service in your area by contacting the Helpline.

We were sorry to hear of your mum's situation and that you feel the correct information has been shared regarding your mum's healthcare. You may find it helpful to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to discuss your concerns. PALS is an independent organisation, there to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible. You can telephone PALS at Stepping Hill Hospital on 0161 419 5678 or by this email: pcs@stockport.nhs.uk

Finally, you can also find lots of information about stroke on our website at www.stroke.org.uk as well as information about how to complain about a health service. You can read about our services, read or listen to other people’s experiences and download all of our publications free of charge. There is news about our campaigns to improve services for stroke survivors, national and local events and our research programmes. You can also join the Talkstroke discussion group where you can share your experiences with other people who have been affected by stroke.

I hope that this is helpful and some of the information I have provided below offers useful support and suggestions.

Stroke Information Service


Stroke Association staff are not medically trained and the information provided does not replace information given to you by your own healthcare provider.

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Response from Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

I am sorry to read of your family’s experience at Stepping Hill Hospital. It is really important that we investigate what has happened and look into your concerns. It would be helpful to speak with you about what we can do and what options you have. Please could you contact me on 0161 419 5678 or PCS@stockport.nhs.uk. Thank you.

Kieren Done

Complaints and Customer Services Manager

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