"Care of our elderly"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

On yet another admittance to NGH I have been amazed to find it has not changed at all,Aew years ago and last year we had experience of family members being in patients at NGH,Eac time we have encountered problems of one sort or another and each time I write a re view but it seems nothing changes.My elderly mother (age 84)was admitted to Ward 2 two weeks ago with COPD problems,We were unhappy to find the ward full of patients who appear to be suffering with memory loss or dementia etc,My mum has neither of these conditions,consequently she had hardly any sleep or peace at all during her stay on theward..Whilst I have every sympathy with anyone suffering from the above mentioned problems I also have sympathy with other patients who are ill and in need of Nursing,Mum suffered biscuits being thrown at her ,sxcreaming banging on the tables and shouting day and night.After almost 2 weeks she as at the end of he rpatienc and was exhausted through lack of sleep.She was moved to Ward 7 and we all breathed a sigh of relief.Initially everything appeared to be fine and the staff helpful and friendly.This soon changed.There is too much detail to go into about that! On her day of discharge I telephoned to ascertain an approx time for her release,I was asked to phone back in 2 hours which I did.However no one answered the phone for ages and ages,I rang off and tried again 2 hrs later.The same problem remained.I eventually managed to talk to a member of staff 4 and half hours after my initial call.I was told Mum coul not be discharged without a discharge letter and the Doctor doing this was on the other side of the hospital and it would probably be another few hours.By this time it was about 4pm,Mum had been told at 11.30 am she could go home. I asked of i could be telephoned once she was ready to leave.I received the phone call at 5,30 and asked if a message could be passed to mum informing her I would be there at approx 7pm,no such message was given and mum sat in distress wondering where we were until we actually arrived.She informed me she had been told I would be there at 3pm,something i did not say to anyone,as I was waiting to be told when she could be discharged. My Mum dreads having to be admitted to NGH again,each time she has been there were problems. Her legs are badly swollen,a permanent condition,however at home she relieves the swelling by raising her legs,on both wards no such help was given despite repeated requests from Mum and the family.As a result her legs are massive and painful.

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Sir / madam, Many thanks for sharing this . I am extremely sorry that you have felt so frustrated and let down by the service during your Mum's recent admission. I am also very sorry that she didn't get a peaceful stay during her time on ward 2. Our commitment is to treat all of our patients with dignity and respect and to care for them in environments where their needs are well understood. I can appreciate that it can be distressing to observe behaviour in others that can feel challenging at times, and I am genuinely sorry that this was true for your mum recently. There are a number of concerns about care on ward 7 that we would be very keen to both learn from and address. I would be very grateful if you would be willing to meet with us and share the full details of all you have experienced as a family whilst on the ward. Our chief matron Elaine Henderson is keen to lead on this but we remain unable to respond in the way we would like to whilst your post remains anonymous. Please email me Annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk at the earliest possibility. Many thanks again for bringing this to our attention - please be assured we do want to work with you to listen , understand all we need to and improve care. With best wishes, Annie

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