"Treatment was okay but no consideration of after..."

About: Leeds General Infirmary

An elderly relative who is 80 had an accident and fractured her shoulder recently. She fell at home and the police had to break into the house through a window to get in to her. At the hospital, they did the usually checks/xrays said there is not much they would do except put her arm in a sling and gave her a pack of codeine for 7 days. I raised the query that I did not think she could cope at home one with arm out of action, as she has mobility problems. Also that following the broken window, there was glass all over the living room furniture and floor, which also doubles as her bedroom. It was not safe for her to go back. The nurse just said we don't keep people in for fractures or for cleaning of their rooms - what - she is 80 - she clearly needed a wheels chair just to get around the hospital and it was also obvious she needed assistance just to get on and off the hospitable bed! Just felt I was being a nuisance so we went home after waiting nearly two hours for an ambulance, which I had to ask for. No one actually bothered to ask how she was going to get home until I enquired about patient transport. Even then I felt as if I was being a nuisance. Back at home it took me nearly two hours to work out how to get her into bed, she was in a lot of pain and could not use the grab rail to get herself in bed. After a sleepless few hours and then experiencing problems trying to get her out of bed to take her to the toilet, I ended up calling an ambulance at 5am in the morning. They took us to St James Hospital who were just brilliant. They did a full assessment including trying to find out why she fell in the first place (which the LGI did not bother to do). St James then found her a CIC bed to place her until she has recovered sufficiently to come back home. In essence St James did everything the LGI should have done in the first place! I feel the LGI just did the bare minimum and nothing more. It wasn't as if it was a weekend or evening, the accident happened mid-day during the week. I know other elderly people who have also had problems with the LGI. For example a friend who is 84 fell last year while outside. Her face was very badly bruised and swollen and she also banged her head. The LGI basically x-rayed in case she had broken her nose and then left her for 6 hours without anyone telling her anything. Then they discharged her without bothering to ring anyone for her or ask how she was getting home. She did not know what to do, so she ended up having to walk from the LGI to the main bus stop near Kirkgate market to get a bus! She said people kept staring at her on the bus and when she got home and saw the state of her face she realised why. Also in her confusion she forget where she lived and when she got to her door she put in her key and just hoped she had got the right house! God help anyone who is elderly who is referred to the LGI.

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Responses

Response from Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us, I was very sorry to read of the poor experience and level of care you describe during your relatives time at Leeds General Infirmary, this is not the level of service we wish to offer and for that I would like to apologise.

I was however very happy to read that your relative did receive the level of care and compassion that we would expect from all our staff during her admission at St James’ Hospital.

To help us improve our services, I would ask that you contact the Trust’s Patient Advise and Liaison Service (PALS) to discuss these issues in more detail so that we can arrange for the relevant management to investigate the matters you have raised.

You can contact PALS on 0113 206 6261 or alternatively you can email patientexperience.leedsth@nhs.net

Once again let me thank you taking the time to post your views.

Kind regards

Rosie

Senior Nurse

Patient Experience