"My grandma was not reviewed for three days"

About: Chesterfield Royal Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My grandma was admitted to EMU with gastroenteritis. Although the nurses were lovely, the rest of the family and I feel that there were many elements of her care that led to her being in hospital much longer than she needed to be.

Upon admission she was seen by the doctor and had a chest xray. However, neither my grandma or the family were updated of what was happening. There was usually a visitor with her during visiting times yet nobody was told any information. We asked my grandma if she knew anything and all she could tell us was that she had a lot of tablets, she didn't know what they were or what they were for and made comments such as "you will be taking me home in a coffin at this rate". To me, this implies that she hasn't been told anything and is assuming that she is dying because nobody will explain anything to her. I understand that looking at her, she could be seen as an old lady but at home she is an independent woman and there is nothing wrong with her mind, there is nothing to stop the medical staff explaining things to her.

After she had been on EMU for a couple of days, my mum (her daughter in law) rang the ward to see what was happening. We were told that she was moving to ridgeway ward when a bed is available. They couldn't tell us any more information. When visiting that day we approached a nurse and asked what was happening. She looked through the medical notes and told us that she hadn't been seen by the doctor since admission and that she is on antibiotics for a chest infection, she was admitted 3 days ago and not reviewed since. She was on no IVs and the only thing we could see them keeping her in hospital for was that she was on oxygen. The nurse said she had it on because her oxygen saturations were low. My grandma has COPD, her saturations are going to be low. She doesn't have oxygen at home and if she had been reviewed earlier and the oxygen reduced she could have been home within a couple of days. As soon as she was reviewed by the doctor on ridgeway ward she was discharged within a couple of days.

The nurses were lovely, however I feel that not being reviewed for three days in a hospital is not good care and keeping patients in longer than necessary when wards are clearly struggling for beds is poor management.

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Response from Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to let us have your concerns about your Grandma's care. It's lovely to read your thoughts about the nursing staff, but I'm really saddened to read you and your family's comments about lack of communication, information and review and how this made your Grandma feel. We always welcome the opportunity to improve what we do and I am sure our medical division would want to talk to you about this recent experience. If you could call our Assistance and Complaints Service on 01246 512640 we could arrange to meet with you (as a family) if you think this would be helpful to you. I hope your Grandma is doing well back at home. Kind regards Sarah Turner-Saint, Head of Communications

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