"medicated zombies"

About: Queen Mary's Hospital (Sidcup)

I am the daughter of one of your current patients in Camden ward woodlands unit. He came to you with early dementia and we needed you to help sort out his agitation which was the only aspect of the illness we were struggling with. Before he came in he could shower or bath by himself, dress himself, go out by himself when he was calm enough to. On entering woodlands we were told he would be here only a short time as he was in danger of becoming institutionalized as he was nowher near the level of the other patients. He has now been there for 4 weeks, he cannot shower unaided, he cannot dress unaided and he like the others is so medicated he is constantly sleepy which obviously makes life a lot easier for the staff if everyone is sleepy. He is constanlly left in bed and not encouraged to get up and no one ever seems to engage in activities with him which we do when we visit every day. During a meeting with a doctor it was decided his medication needed to change. A week later we discovered this had not been written down anywhere so the medication was still the same and a whole week had been wasted.The doctor appoligised and said he would change the medication as planned the next day. I have no confidence that this will happen. I do not have the opportunity to visit that often as I live 250 miles away fro the hospital but my mum and sister visit every day. We as a family are very disappointed in the service as we feel he is deteriating in his daily skills and as the building is quite secular and has no windows the real world is becoming a distant memory for him and when he does emerge will be a scary place. I remind tou of the doctors first comments when dad first entered "He will not be here long we dont want him becomming instutionalised"

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Response from Queen Mary's Hospital

I'm sorry to hear your concerns about your father's health and that you have no confidence in the medical care that your father receiving. People admitted to Camden Ward are generally acutely and severely unwell and sadly, as dementia is a progressive illness it is not uncommon that difficulties can deteriorate when very unwell. However, it’s really important that your father receives the best care and I would really appreciate that you make contact with either myself, Jo Cook, as Patient Experience Lead for the service via 020 8301 9400 (jo.cook@oxleas.nhs.uk), our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 917 7159 or (pals@oxleas.nhs.uk), or please do raise your concerns with the ward team or ask your mother and sister to do so that we can ensure your specific concerns are addressed. Kind regards Jo Cook Patient Experience Lead

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