"End of life care of our mother was disgusting on..."

About: North Middlesex Hospital

In our opinion the standard of care for patients in a vegetated state is appalling. Our mother was admitted to AMU ward and had family around her most of the time,but she declined rapidly over two days and cancer was diagnosed. Unable to get up ,talk,eat or drink we were told nothing could be done will keep her comfortable,. We were able to stay with her over night,a doctor said they would be in to her throughout the night,that was the last we saw of the doctor! Becoming distressed and us trying to understand where mums pain was ,no one was to be found! My wife found doctors and nurses in adjacent corridor and insisted someone come at approx 3.30am ,the doctor asked if nurses had been in to medicate, No she replied no one at all,then a doctor and nurse came and mum was more comfortable no hourly observations took place. God forbid had our mother been alone ,how she would have suffered that night,how many others are suffering who cannot communicate due to such poor health. The following day doctors informed us ,all active treatment would stop palliative team were in agreement,and they met with us explaining she would receive pain relief through syringe driver end of life was near,we continued our around the clock vigil . Again no one came unless we searched for them,at approx 5.20pm on 20/3/15 we went out to say we think she is near the end as breathing so shallow the doctor replied ok I will call someone,with non caring attitude. Two nurses came and aid mum was in her in last stage,not long now and left. We sat watching every last breathe she died at 5.45pm we informed the same doctor that we think she died,but wait for it she said she will call someone as she too busy,we asked continuously and we continued to wait finally she was certified dead at 7.45pm two hours later! They have no compassion They just leave patients in rooms uncared for They show no respect for patients or families. If you have very ill family on this ward beware as the care is not there. However nurses were lovely and done their best all the time. The doctors want training on bedside manner and reminding why they came into the caring profession in the first place.

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Response from North Middlesex Hospital

After your mother had been admitted and a diagnosis of cancer was made the sudden death must have been truly devastating for you and your family. My sincere condolences at the loss of your mother and I am so sorry that your experience on AMU was traumatic and that you found some of our nurses unsympathetic. I am the matron for AMU, smitchell11@nhs.net and would welcome receiving your contact details, so that I can discuss with you the issues you raised. I will be sharing your comments with the team.

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