"Poor communication to relatives of dementia..."

About: Lister Hospital

My mother, who has advanced dementia, was admitted with a broken hip. The doctors we encountered were excellent and took trouble to communicate with us a next of kin, as my mother has lost the ability to speak and communicate. However visiting hours on her ward were at times when doctors were not noticeably present and it was quite tricky getting information from some of the nursing staff. Some of them seemed quite reluctant to disclose any information. I only discovered she was being discharged from a patient in the bed opposite. When I approached the nursing station to try and locate her named nurse and find out more, I was asked why I wished to see them (in a fairly hostile manner). One of the nurses also seemed to feel communication with the patient was a waste of time (in view of her advanced dementia) and commenced procedures without even speaking to my mother. My brother politely suggested to this nurse that it might be better to treat my mother with some dignity and warn her when a blood sugar test was about to be performed. Overall I think the quality of care could be improved with better communication skills.

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Response from Lister Hospital

We're really disappointed that the nursing care your mother experienced was not as we would have liked or expected. A great deal of investment around dementia awareness and training has been expended across our wards and we really do want to follow this up so we can get things addressed so that those patients with dementia who are being cared for on our wards are treated with respect and dignity at all times, as well as their relatives involved fully in decisions about their care. If you can email us at generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net, we can then get this matter followed up with you quickly. Thank you.

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