"Terrible Treatment in A & E"

About: Hexham General Hospital

My mother was admitted to A&E in February when she suddenly became unresponsive. After a CT scan, the doctors determined that she was not having a stroke. It was clear to me that she was and I suggested that because she had had a major stroke a few years before that the scan might not be clear. She was having trouble communicating and she seemed to have a problem with the left hand side of her face and was unable to lift her arm. They did not give her anything to eat or drink while in A&E and at 8pm that evening they decided to send her home. She was soaked in urine and we had to lift her into a small car. Fortunately, at the residential home at the other end someone was able to help us get her to her room. During the night, it became more and more obvious to me that this was a stroke and after a call to NHS an ambulance took her back in to A7E. I heard one of the staff stay "why is she back in here". My mother was left for several hours and eventually, after I was determined she was not going home, they admitted her to Ward 2 where she was largely ignored. Three days later, a physiotherapist identified a stroke and she was moved to Ward 4 where they were amazing. That's fantastic ward and this review has nothing to do with them. However, because of the time - 4 days - they were unable to rehabilitate her. She is bedridden now and her quality of life very poor. A&E should have listened to me. I knew her medical history and I immediately identified a stroke. But they treated me like a nuisance.

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Response from Hexham General Hospital

Dear anonymous I am very concerned to read your comment. The description of your mother’s care appears to fall well below the high standards we usually deliver. There are elements of your posting that I find extremely disturbing and which don’t sound at all like the dignified and compassionate care that we aim to deliver to every patient. I am sorry if this was your mother’s experience, and that you felt that you were not listened to. I would like to look into this further for you but it is very difficult without knowing your mother’s details. Can I please ask that you contact me on 01434 655301 or email me at louise.fitzgibbon@northumbria.nhs.uk I appreciate your comments regarding ward 4, I will pass this onto the staff there. I look forward to speaking to you soon. With best wishes, Louise Fitzgibbons, matron, Hexham General Hospital

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