"Pressure sores reappeared when my aunt went back into hospital"

About: Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent / Cardiology

(as a relative),

Having had the misfortune to be an inpatient at Burton Queen's hospital with a broken ankle my elderly aunt was sent home with three pressure sores and a so-what attitude from staff on the ward. (Ironically when she herself trained as a nurse many years ago, it was a disciplinary offence to allow one of your patients to develop a bed sore).

After six days at home they had almost dried but then she had to return to Queen's to have a pacemaker fitted. It didn't go smoothly and had to be re-done which has resulted in a stay on the Coronary Care Unit.

So what precautions were taken for an old lady with a history of pressure sores? You've guessed it, none. They rapidly reappeared, and increased in size. Specialist tissue nurses were called for but it took four days for them to turn up and when they did they said there was nothing they could do, a dermatologist was needed and he only came in on Tuesday's ie another four days away.

In the meantime my aunt became unwell and developed a high temperature and vomiting. Her daughter, unaware of this, called the hospital one morning and asked what sort of night her mother had had and was told by the off-hand nurse who answered she'd been "alright". Only when she got to the hospital did other patients tell her how terribly ill her mum had been in the night. Now my cousin doesn't believe a word anyone on the ward tells her on the phone. They're not sure what's causing my aunt's high temperature and vomiting. Could it possibly be something to do with that huge open wound you've allowed to develop on her backside? I bet there's a few bugs at home in there.

And where can I start with the physios and OTs telling her to do things that the Cardiac consultant said not to? Don't you think it would have been nice to actually communicate with my aunt why you thought it would be ok to do those things, or better still get him to tell her and reassure her? She's an intelligent woman, not a slab of meat for you to process, tick a few boxes and meet a target.

By the way, can't you get ripple mattresses anymore? or roho cushions? I know they might be a bit pricey but on the whole, preventing pressure sores tends to be a damn sight cheaper than treating them.

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Response from Pals Team, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Reviewer

We are sorry to read about your Aunt’s patient experience at Queen’s Hospital Burton. This does not reflect the level of care we expect our patient to receive.

We would like the opportunity to investigate your concerns further so we can improve our service. We would need patient consent and details. If you are happy for us to do so, please contact the PALS 01283 593110 we are available Monday to Friday 09:00am – 16:30pm.

Kind regards

PALS team

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