"Elderly patient, wound infection"

About: Friarage Hospital Site

I took my elderly mum to the Friarage A&E on Wednesday 30th September as a follow-up to a visit (taken by ambulance) to Darlington Memorial A&E the previous Monday.

She had had a fall at the care home where she lives in Catterick and after treatment at Darlington the District Nurse was unhappy about one of the wounds to her knee.

My mum is 94 and has dementia.

I was asked to take her back to hospital, with the A1 closed at night and some concerns about Darlington A&E I decided to take her to Northallerton.

We sat in the waiting room for some time (it can get busy I realise) on Wednesday evening.

When we saw the staff nurse it was clear that he was quite surprised that one of the wounds to her knee had received no treatment at Darlington and he explained that he would glue and steri strip it but that as it was old it would not heal as well.

However, after this treatment it continued to leak into the dressing and infection set in to the wound. Due to the short time this took I am advised that the wound must have been infected at the time of treatment.

So I am concerned that more could have been done to treat this wound to avoid the pain and antibiotics she is now taking?

I have also written a review for Darlington about the initial treatment.

The other point I would like to raise with you is the fact that the waiting area (for 2 + hours) is quite unsuitable for elderly patients with dementia, the ticker tape info screen constantly presents as new information and was a difficult thing to manage on top of the distress she was under due to her injuries.

I could have taken her off to the side and away from sight but was concerned that this might result in longer delays and she was becoming very agitated.

In the grand scheme of things this is a lesser point but awareness of these issues for dementia patients would be helpful.

Overall I didn't feel that the waiting area was suitable.

For example, I could see that a lot of time and effort has gone in to making young patients more comfortable.

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Responses

Response from Friarage Hospital Site

Good afternoon

Thank you for your comments regarding your visit to the Accident & Emergency Department at the Friarage Hospital Northallerton, with your mum.

I am sorry you have cause for concern about the treatment your mum received and the standard of waiting facilities for elderly patients.

I have shared your and your mum's experience with the relevant management team for the Trauma and Theatres Centre, who manage the Accident & Emergency Department and the Trust's Lead Nurse/Dementia Project Manager, who will be very interested to learn of your concerns.

In the meantime, I should be grateful if you would provide me with your contact telephone number by either email at patient.relations@stees.nhs.uk or by telephoning the Patient Relations Department on 01642 854500 and I can arrange for a member of staff to contact you with feedback, following investigation.

Yours sincereley

Miss Helen Newman

Complaints & Incidents Specialist

IG & Patient Safety

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