"Unhappy with treatment of my father on Cedars Ward"

About: Royal Oldham Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This story is being submitted by Healthwatch Oldham on behalf of someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Any response to this story will be forwarded to the individual concerned.

My father has recently been diagnosed with Dementia and after several instances of him hurting himself being considered a danger to himself, he was admitted to Cedars ward at Royal Oldham Hospital in October 2014.

I had initial issues with communication as I was unable to find out which ward my father was on for a couple of days I was only given the main hospital switchboard number, I eventually found out through constantly ringing the switchboard number which ward he was on.

I started visiting my dad every other day and initially was happy with the care my dad was receiving however over time and due to my father being under observation with regards to deputy ship order (which both myself and the council where going for) they started preventing him from being able to talk privately with me with he was finding this very frustrating.

On one occasion during his stay in hospital and whilst I was present, my dad lost his balance, he went to sit down but ended up falling back on bed and saying to me he had lost his vision I called for help and held his hand to reassure him that it was ok.

The nurse came to check him and took his blood pressure and after a few minutes his vision came back. The following day I visited my dad and afterwards I went to see senior staff who had seen to my dad during his episode the following day and a manager, I wanted to discuss what had happened and gave my opinion that it could be epilepsy as it ran in family, I was upset because the senior staff member denied it had happened. I then asked for a list of medications which my father was taking, this took a couple of weeks for them to provide, and when they did give me medication list there was a drug on there which is used for dementia and epilepsy so I feel that the hospital did have an awareness that my father could have epilepsy however denied he had had a fit.

My father was in Cedars ward till end of May as we needed to find an appropriate care home for him. When I visited him in the evening, on a couple of occasions hospital staff said dad was being aggressive, I tried to explain that my dad had been a performer when he was younger and that he wasn’t aggressive he was being expressive. On the occasions when they classed him as displaying aggressive behaviour, they would hold him down and administer by injection a drug to calm him down.

When present I would always try and calm him down to stop it would not lead to him being held down and injected as he found it very distressing. Each time he had the injection for a couple of days after he could hardly speak, walk or keep his eyes open. On one occasion whilst he was in this state I came to visit it to find he had tomato soup all over his shoes. I was annoyed about this as whoever had helped him with his lunch had obviously not shown patience or care and had left the soup on his shoes, yet I feel there were enough staff on the ward.

On another occasion I was sat with my dad who seemed very worked up, saying they kept pressing him and doing tests on him, I explained they were doing capacity tests on him regarding the deputyship order as as I wanted to be honest with him. My dad just wanted to have a private conversation with me but the hospital staff wouldn’t let him have any privacy which was upsetting him.

On my last visit to see my dad, my dad was talking to me with his door ajar, to try and give us some privacy. The Nurse then stormed in and pushed the door wide open smacking it against the wall, when she had gone my dad closed it to again leaving it a little open, the nurse came back and did the same thing, I lost my patience a little and said I have had enough of this and I shut the door myself. This time, the nurse opened the door and stood in door with her arms folded. I was feeling very annoyed at this and told them to go away and out of frustration called her a name.

At this point 3 security guards, 4 nurses and 3 doctors appeared but my father and I had already left the room as he still wanted to talk privately to me, and when they all approached us we were in the corridor. They surrounded us and my dad stood in front of me protectively. They tried to coax my dad over to them, and one nurse asked me to come to the office to speak to her, I said I would when everyone moved away as this was very intimidating and I felt bullied. My dad then got emotional held my face and told me to deal with this properly / go through right channels. 3 security guards then grabbed me and dragged me off to another room. I was allowed to leave the hospital under the condition that I made a statement the following day.

I am very upset about the treatment of my dad as highlighted during his stay and by the treatment I received as I was only acting in the best interest of my dad.

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