"emergency care for my mum"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

My Mum was admitted to the northumbria emergency care hospital on 16/10/15. We were not informed that she was in the hospital, until 2 hours after she arrived there, by which time she was deteriorating rapidly and barely coherent.We found out later that my contact number as next of kin was recorded as my Mums phone number in Mums notes. During the time Mum was in A/E she was in extreme pain and crying for pain relief, which she was not given until a few hours after we arrived. When I asked why she was not given pain relief, the doctors said they were worried that it would compromise the function of her already poorly functioning kidneys, which seemed at the time to be of little relevance as she was clearly seriously ill and in desperate pain, eventually after repeated requests for pain relief the doctors gave her a paracetamol infusion which did little to reduce the pain. Finally when Mum was taken to ward 9 she appeared a little more comfortable. When the nurse was checking Mum in we were made aware of the wrongly recorded phone number, there was no excuse really as Mum was a patient in the same hospital in July 2015, and at that time I gave mobile and land line numbers as next of kin, and my daughter gave her mobile number.

We were seen by the doctor on the ward, and they were very professional and empathetic, and the nurses were very caring even though they were working under extreme pressure. My daughter and I were able to stay overnight with Mum, and during the night a dementia patient wandered in to Mums room looking for a phone! we had to usher her out of the room as the nurses were unaware of her presence, due to severe under staffing. We were told that if we needed a doctor there would be one available, but when my Mum took a sudden turn for the worse in the early hours of the morning, my daughter requested a doctor, but was told we would have to wait until the ward round at 8.30am, unfortunately Mum passed away at 7.30am.

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Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear anonymous

I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your mum, please accept my sincere condolences.

I am truly sorry that you have had to write about issues with your mum’s care during what must be a very upsetting time for you.

The care provided to your mum clearly falls below our acceptable standards and we would very much like to speak to you to find out more. If you do feel up to talking please could you contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 032 0202, or alternatively if you would prefer to email them you can do so at northoftynepals@nhct.nhs.uk . I will let them know to expect to hear from you.

I have already spoken to our director of nursing so we can look at procedures for checking and double checking phone numbers to hopefully prevent this happening again. I am very sorry for the delay this caused you in getting to the hospital.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know that the doctors and nurses treating your mum on the ward were as caring as we would expect them to be. This is very important to us.

Once again, please accept my sincere condolences on your mum’s passing.

With kindest regards

Claire Riley, Director of communications and corporate affairs