"My sisters terminal cancer experience"

About: Croydon University Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My sister is suffering from terminal cancer, she has been under the care of Guys hospital. Unfortunately recently she collapsed at her home and was taken to Croydon University Hosp where she was in accident and emergency for hours on end finally admitted to AMU.

My sisters partner said he told the staff on numerous occasions that she was under the care of Guys hospital. My sister has a nasal gastric tube to feed her when it came to the member of staff connecting and setting up a new bag of food the member of staff didn't know what to give her even though my sisters partner had told the member of staff.

Eventually the member of staff went to another ward and came back with the correct item, it then became apparent after several attempts by the member of staff to connect this the member of staff did not have a clue even though my sisters partner was explaining how to do this, eventually my sisters partner did it, and had to explain the procedure of first making sure that the "NGT" was still in the correct position in the stomach then showed the staff how to connect it up. Shocking and totally not acceptable that a member of staff is not able to carry out this procedure.

My sister partner also provided the special plasters that Guys used to hold the tube along her cheek making it secure and comfortable they still haven't bothered to do this so the tube is held by a bunched up plaster stuck to my sisters nose which is not comfortable.

My son and my granddaughter were visiting after this and my Granddaughter noticed that the oxygen being administered through the a small clip in my sisters nose this clip had been placed the wrong way up my Granddaughter redid this so that it was the right way and therefore more comfortable.

My Granddaughter also pointed out that the machine on the end of the bed was not switched on, this machine is allows the mattress to gently move to help prevent pressure sores! My Granddaughter got a staff nurse to come who checked it and then scrambled under the bed to find the cable which she then plugged in, she was very apologetic.

While visiting with my daughter and grandson my sister needed to helped to move upwards in her bed the nurse who was there could not manage and looked around then looked at my Grandson and suggested that he could help absolutely unbelievable he is young and my sisters great nephew, my daughter said she would help. All of what we have witnessed so far is totally unacceptable and gives me and our family great concerns about what happens when we are not there.

We managed to speak to a doctor which I have to say did not reassure me in anyway as the attitude is very casual and the overall impression I got was that my sister is terminally ill (which we are all very aware) and indifference.

I am not happy with what I have seen so far and do not trust that my sister will receive the standard of care the she deserves and we as her family expect. I intend to do my up most to get her transferred back to Guys.

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Response from Graham Richardson, Deputy Manager, PALS and Complaints, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

Dear Chrysalice

I am so sorry to learn of the difficulties experienced by your sister and your family, and apologise for the additional stress and anxiety this will have caused at an already worrying time.

I have passed on your concerns to the senior nursing team and have asked that they contact you as soon as possible to establish that your sister is now receiving the appropriate care and attention here and to let you know what will be done to address the issues you have raised.

If you are still experiencing problems, please contact our PALS office during the day in our main reception area, or on 020 8401 3210 or at pals@croydonhealth.nhs.uk

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Response from Graham Richardson, Deputy Manager, PALS and Complaints, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Chrysalice

I understand that the ward matron has now had an opportunity to speak to your sister's partner to apologise for the problems your sister encountered on the Acute Medical Unit and to discuss her ongoing care. I do hope that your sister's care will be of the high standard we aim to provide all our patients.

The Matron for the AMU will be speaking to her staff to establish where additional training is needed and ensure this is arranged.

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