"My mother's admission to A&E"
Posted by P or P (as ),
GP decided that my elderly mother should be admitted to hospital for investigations. Ambulance arranged (up to 4 hours) and it arrived (six and a half hours later) and took her to Ayr Hospital A&E. Also having responsibility for young children returning from school, my mother agreed that she was ok to be left and admitted to the ward on her own and asked that I return home to arrange cover for the children. My mother is almost deaf in both ears (2 hearing aids help a little), she was frail and she was anxious. Having arrived by ambulance, she was moved straight into a cubicle. The GP letter was passed over, a brief history was taken and she was changed into a hospital gown to await review by a doctor. Having spent 2 hours waiting in the cubicle, I then had to leave.
However, before leaving I sought out a nurse. I advised that my mother was almost deaf, and that she had only agreed to come into hospital under duress with the proviso that I was kept fully informed of what was happening in order that I could keep her informed and included in her own care. I asked that she make sure my telephone number was emblazened on the front of her medical record and I also informed her that I had the rights and consent of medical power of attorney.
I know you can have a long wait in A&E for a bed but, when I hadn't heard anything from the hospital, I telephoned 3 hours later to find that my mother had been given an x-ray and was in the process of being admitted to a ward.
When I called the ward to find out what was happening, I was advised by the staff nurse that it was 'illegal' for them to give out information from tests or x-rays over the telephone. Therefore, I duly offered to be there within next 15 minutes. This was when I was told that I could not attend in person until visiting time which was by then, the next afternoon. Since I wasn't happy I was then advised to contact the secretary to arrange to speak with the doctor. When I did this, the doctor had relayed the message that I should speak with the nurse who was dealing with my mother and I ended up quite frustrated and hemmed in by the whole situation.
Unfortunately, things didn't get much better. I was refused access to the ward to take my mother outside for a cigarette because they deal with sick patients. My mother wasn't allowed to exit the ward by herself because she was reliant upon a zimmer frame to walk. And, none of the nursing staff were allowed to escort her outside to have a cigarette. Hemmed in? She said she felt it was more like a prison than a hospital. Where are patients civil rights and why don't people listen to patients and their families requests?