"AMU Shocking state of poor hygiene"

About: Manchester Royal Infirmary

My mum was admitted to AMU Room 1.

She is a cancer patient and has contracted a sever bowel infection.

Since being in the room for a few days her room was not cleaned.

Cancer patients immune system is extremely low so hygiene is of extreme importance.

More shocking and disturbing than this is that due to her bowel infection she has an upset stomach and has had a few accidents.

She buzzed for help at 5.20am and no-one came to see her till after 6.00am.

A side effect of cancer is numbness of hands and feet.

When a member of staff eventually presented they stood in the room and left her to clean herself up.

Numbness in feet can impact balance and my mum balance is impaired. My mums room is freezing and staff have actually stated this.

Again a side effect of cancer is feeling the cold more.

Lastly, my sister checked if my mum could have tap water.

Staff stated she could.

When my mum was eventually moved to another ward my sister checked if she could have tap water.

Conflicting information.

Staff in the new ward stated 'Oh no, fresh tap water from the kitchen'.

So to recap, whoever left my mum in her own faeces, in a cold room to clean herself up should be ashamed of themselves.

My mum is distraught.

She stated that it was like a prison and she can't get her poor care out of her head.

Cancer is emotionally and physical draining for all parties involved not just the patient; so to see our mum being treated in this manner is extremely upsetting and disturbing.

The ownly positive to come out of this experience is that she has now been moved to another ward where she has been treated in a better manner.

We have been informed that the staff in question at AMU is agency staff.

I know that generally doctors and nurses do a fantastic job but whoever cared for my mum should be disciplined or fired.

I feel this strongly about this as the member of staff concerned has clearly got no common sense.

To see someone struggle to clean themselves up and watch is not something a training session can rectify, its about compassion and not watching someone struggle.

I intend to take my complaint further to the General Medical Council.

If it was not for my mums dignity and self respect I would also have taken this complaint to the Manchester evening News.

I sincerely hope that action is taken over this poor standard of care and no other families have to endure this traumatic experience.

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for the feedback you have given us regarding your mothers care whilst on the Acute Medical Unit (AMU). It is disappointing to know that your mother’s room was not cleaned for a number of days as there are 2 allocated Sodexo Domestic staff who clean the unit including the side rooms on daily basis. The information that you have provided has been shared with the Sodexo supervisor and the AMU Matron has commenced a clean walk round on daily basis, where she monitors all the areas on AMU for cleanliness and ensures that the domestic staff respond to action any issues immediately. Maintaining a good standard of cleanliness is paramount in our hospital and we strive to ensure that AMU is kept clean at all times. We are very sorry that the cleanliness fell below the standard we aim to achieve on this occasion.

The staff at the Trust endeavour to ensure that all patients are treated with privacy and dignity at all the times. We are extremely sorry to learn that your mother was not assisted with her hygiene needs and that her privacy and dignity was not maintained. All the staff on AMU are aware of the importance of good communication and standards of care and should always strive to achieve this. The staff on AMU attend ‘Customer Service Training’ as part of their continual development. Within the Trust we also provide dedicated training sessions for staff in all areas and all disciplines in relation to the values and behaviours that the Trust expects staff to demonstrate in each and every interaction with patients. I can confirm that all the staff are undertaking this training. In order to support staff awareness and to monitor standards of care on AMU, it is supported by a dedicated Matron who monitors closely the care that is being delivered. Your concerns have been shared with all the staff in the ward at the ward meeting the importance of basic personal hygiene and maintenance of privacy and dignity has been re-iterated. In respect of agency personnel it is our expectation that they are appropriately inducted and supervised by the ward team. It is unacceptable that any member of staff, agency or otherwise, delivered care that fell way below our expected standards.

We are also very sorry to hear that the room your mother was in was very cold. The air conditioning temperature on the unit changes from time to time and it should be reported immediately if the temperature is not appropriate for the patients. We have re-iterated to the unit housekeeper and rest of the staff to check room temperatures on regular basis and report it if the temperature is not appropriate.

Your comment also highlighted a concern regarding the information given to you in regards to the tap water. I can assure you that there are now signs on display by all the sinks instructing staff to fill the water jugs in the kitchen. We would like to apologise for the distress this experience has caused both your mother and yourself.

We hope that you can be reassured your concerns have been taken most seriously, and that they have been communicated to the nursing team on AMU, actions have been put in place to ensure that we maintain improvements in care on the unit.

If you would like to discuss any of your concerns in more detail, please feel free to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk