"Lilliput Ward Poole Hospital"

About: Poole General Hospital

My mother was moved to this ward in Jan 2014 from Rockley Ward, where they had discovered a terminal brain tumour. In Rockley, as her only next of kin, I was informed of this sensitively by a doctor but more studies were needed from Southampton before exact diagnosis, prognosis etc could be confirmed. I requested that I be kept informed as her only next of kin and that I be the person to break the news to my mother or, at the very least, that I be present, because my mother was 86, suffering from partial dementia and had just been bereaved 2 weeks beforehand when my father had passed away. In addition they had both just been moved into a Care Home 4 weeks beforehand, and so she was very disorientated and vulnerable. This was agreed by the doctor. As I work full-time I was only able to visit in the evenings but was available for phone calls throughout the day and could have come in if required for an important meeting. In Lilliput Ward none of the nurses were ever able to tell me what was happening about my mother, nor had the time nor interest to stop and find out. My mother was becoming increasingly desperate as she didn't know why she was being kept there, (and nor did I), and I found the atmosphere to be chaotic and unpleasant. Finally, I arrived one evening to find my mother extremely agitated, crying and asking to end her life, and I eventually ascertained from what she was trying to tell me, that a doctor had told her, alone, about her terminal brain tumour. I expressed my dissatisfaction at the nurse's desk, when I was able to find a nurse, and was told very brusquely that yes, this was probably the case and not to make a fuss. I was even more incensed by this and finally one kind nurse (the only one I met on that ward) took me aside and gave me the consultants phone number. I phoned the consultant the next day and learnt the salient points about my mother's case in one short phone call. It was not ascertained why they had told my mother alone. Even though this was against my stated wishes, I would still expect a doctor to have enough awareness and basic human sympathy to realise that a patient in such a state as my mother was, needed to have friends or family with them at the time of the conversation.. No-one ever bothered to contact me then or since, neither consultant, GP, palliative care or district nurse. All subsequent information until my mother's death in April 2014, was gleaned from the internet and staff at the Care Home, who were fantastic, but not trained nurses. In brief, although from experience, I believe Poole Hospital to be a good hospital, in this instance I am disgusted by the lack of compassion, empathy and help shown primarily towards my mother but also to me..

Story from NHS Choices

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