"Poor care and end of life care for my nan"
About: Manor Hospital / General medicine Manor Hospital General medicine WS2 9PS
Posted by Care for our patients and elderly LP (as ),
My nan, in her 80's and suffering the late stages of heart failure, was recently admitted to the Manor Hospital, Walsall, several times. Although eldrely, she had her wits about her and was, mentally, 100% sound. She therefore knew what was being said and done around her. For rehabilitation reasons, after her 2nd admittance, she was admitted to Swift, where we were told, she would be assessed properly prior to returning home to ensure she received all the help she would need. From the way she was treated, and from observations made, she grew tired and upset in that suite. On one occasion she witnessed an old lady opposite being shouted at whilst a nurse attended to her. She appeared to have mental health issues and chatted away. She simply went to speak to the nurse who in turn shouted " Can't you see, I am trying to have a conversation? " whilst chatting with a member of staff.
My nan was spoken to like an idiot constantly, or, they would ignore nan and ask family things. We pointed out, on several occasions, she can speak for herself, she is an independent lady, as they made her feel invisible and stupid. They constantly bought her drinks of tea and squash in a baby beaker.
Whenever she asked them to use a cup, she got a tut and a dirty look. My nan was struggling mobility wise at this point- they sent the OT to assess the help she would need to go home. She had a conversation, nan lay in bed, and decided that was enough to send nan home to look after herself with a few care visits. She was constantly rushed home, in my opinion too soon, then rushed back in within weeks. She was regularly told off as this was bed blocking? ! At one point they scared us all and said if you call the ambulance again- we will not re-admit you! Why? She hated the hospital and we only dared call for help when she was very very poorly. So poorly in fact, that the hospital staff called us in, on every stay, to say "she won't last the night, or the next few days". She was often rushed in with septicaemia - on one occasion the consultant asked "can she look after herself? If not, we won't bother with treatment"- WHAT?
We (the family) asked a nurse how nan was doing that day- she snapped and said"she is dieing basically, okay! ". My nan cried and said "I'm on my way out". We reported this to a senior member of staff who simply denied it on her behalf. I saw another elderly lady ask for help to go to the toilet- they left her that long, she did it on the floor, in the corner of her cubicle- I think she had dementia. One male member of staff shouted " I'm going for a p##s" in front of all- we were visiting out of hours as nan hadn't got long left again. My nan had had enough and wanted to die, whenever that may be, at home. Equipment was arranged for her and to be delivered to her home. This included oxygen, as nan struggled to breathe at times. Then staff decided she couldn't go home as the was no way of getting her in to the house- she had been left in bed so much, she could no longer walk. Unbeknown to us, they had cancelled the delivery of an important aid, her prescribed oxygen tan's. Then the ambulance guys came and took her home. On her last morning, she was really fighting for breath- no oxygen was there, family felt helpless. She was saying "help me". The doctor was called, gave her an injection to calm her, and she was gone. The attitude of the staff, throughout, stank. I am so grateful to the minority, who really care and make a difference, but so many spoil it for the rest. They seem to think the ward and especially the nursing stations are staff socialising areas, the patients are simply an inconvenience, that is apparent. People are poorly and at their lowest and this is the last thing they need. I have witnessed night staff ignoring patients because they have their takeaway menu on the desk- Indian meals etc. delivered to the ward. Some people must do the job for the wrong reasons, there seemed to be no love and real passion there- certainly not what the trust professes to stand for. I called PALS for advice and they told me to write. We lost nan recently and only now have I been able to do this. It was her last period of time in her life, and this hurts. I would love an explanation so we can identify these issues and prevent this happening to patients and family. It magnifies the grief.