"Dementia Care Complete Disgrace"

About: Southampton General Hospital

My brother who has dementia ended up in the General Hospital F8 ward. His treatment was simply awful. Staff failed to feed him he was not offered adequate drinks. Staff complained about staff shortage and the fact that the mental health nurse employed to care for him was paid more through the agency. The nurses were all lovely when we spoke to them but completely overwhelmed with the patients and their needs, maybe there needs to be more staff. The agency mental health workers were so poor and one female quite aggressive towards him, she told me she understood mental health issues but I doubted that in looking at her reaction to my brother. He was scared, confused, agressive but bed bound so no real threat and in 4 weeks lost over 4 stone. He was eventually sectioned and sent to Gosport. In the 5 days he has been there he has been washed properly, treated with such respect and they have made sue he is eating through protein drinks and drinking plenty. Unfortunately it's probably too late he has just been taken into QA at Portsmouth as he has infections and is very poorly, I think this should have been picked up at Southampton. I have no doubt in the abilities of staff at Southampton but having seen my mother suffer similar indignity I am simply devastated that they still treat people with dementia with such distain. Yes they are a pain and yes they don't do things we normal people do. But they are frightened and alone in a world none of us would ever want to visit.

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Responses

Response from Southampton General Hospital

We are very sorry to read of your experience and lasting impressions. I would like to assure you that the trust actively seeks to improve the hospital experience for patients with dementia for whom we appreciate the hospital admission can be extremely challenging. We appreciate that your concern right now is for your father but when the time is right please do contact Patient Support Services on 02381206325 or at patientsupportservices@uhs.nhs.uk who will be happy to further explore your concerns with you and advise on how we may take these forward.

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