"Poor treatment of my mother at Sunderland Royal Hospital"

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

At the beginning of July 2009 my mum was admitted with sever vomiting of a very bad deep brown fluid -the stench was unbelievable. This had been going on for 3-4 weeks and the GP thought was gastric flu! The next day we where told she needed a ct scan but would have to wait as scan was broken. Ten days later finally mum had one all that time the vomiting was getting worse.

Then she had a fall and we were then told mum had a stricture and a very small opening in her stomach so food could not pass through. They decided to do a bowel by-pass, as my mum had emphysema we were worried about the op but where assured it would be keyhole. Mum was then moved to a different ward and surgeon 4 weeks after been admitted she finally had the op next day. She was fine, had clear fluids 3rd day and she was allowed soft blended food 6 hour's after the food she vomited, this carried on for 5 more weeks. Drips in then out, catheters in then out, potassium levels dropped very low, confusion then heart arrhythmia.

Then she started to wander and had another 2 really bad falls, the last one it took 9 mins for a member of staff to come and help her. We were kept informed of everything not by the staff but other patients. After another scope we were told she had another blockage. All this time I thought my mum was treated quite badly, being shouted at by some nurses. On one occasion when my mum was very ill, and had by this time lost nearly 3 stone, I saw a nurse on the ward physically drag my mum out of her bed (bearing in mind she had breathing problems and horrific arthritis - her knees where badly deformed as was her spine) and hurried her down to the toilets which had no disabled equipment. It got to the point where mum would only ask for bed pan when me or my sister were there as she got so upset.

We had 5 meetings with the doctors. It would have been 9 but on 4 occasions the doctors never turned up. We kept asking for a feeding tube and catheters to be put in as her weight loss was terrible and we were told this would be a step back. Then the next day we would go up to find drips and catheters in again. This went on for 7 weeks; my mum was black with bruises, a lump on her head and back bruised from all of the falls.

I found out on the 8th week they were still giving mum her high blood pressure tablets even though her pressure was 82-59, her feet and hand's were freezing. Finally 9 weeks after my mum had been admitted they put a feeding tube in. I got a call one day at the beginning of September to go to hospital. My mum died that evening.

The last 9 weeks of my mum’s life were uncomfortable. After her death I got a call from a doctor I had never heard of (or spoke to) telling me that they did not know what to put on her certificate. I informed him neglect or malnutrition would be good choices, he then said someone from mums team of doctors needed to see me that day - I said I would be there at 9.30am for the certificate and was not bothered by this time what they put on it. He informed me that the time was not convenient, I informed him that on 4 occasions I had sat and waited for the doctor to come to meetings where he did not show up and that I would be there at 9.30am as that was the only time I was available. When I got there a junior doctor was sent to see me and I was told she was in touch with the coroner to see what they could put on the certificate. Finally after over hour and half I got the cause of death as septicaemia. I feel that never in my mums 75 years on this planet was she treated with such disrespect and abandonment.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››