"Dont Get ill at the weekend at Croydon..."

About: Croydon University Hospital

My mum has been admitted twice in the last 2 weeks, to A&E Department and then to Acute Medical Unit (AMU). She has a stroke on 7th September and is currently undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation unit in Roehampton.

However, due to dehydration and sickness she has been sent twice to Croydon University hospital (CUH) which is a disgrace in my opinion for the following reasons 1.

Since when is it hygienic for A&E staff to have crisps and food at their work stations in the A&E while they are actively treating patients. This was witnessed today by me at CUH A&E (22/11/15).

2.

My mum was not transferred to a stroke ward during her first stay at the hospital (early November 2015) despite needing specialist stroke care. She was kept in a bed (in 2 different wards - AMU and Wandle 3) for 7 days that did not have a hoist or similar to get her out of bed and as a result had to use a bed pan which caused her tremendous stress.

Due to her stroke she needs a stroke glove on her right hand which was not put in place until 5 days after she was admitted to CUH.

No-one would accept responsability for putting this on, it was always I need to talk to the doctor, and then nothing happened.

3. She has been admitted again today (22/11/15) to the AMU and despite a consultant doctor clearly stating at 6pm to the sister that a stroke bed (it has air inside rather than a mattress ) being required that was not obtained.

When I asked again about this at 8pm I was advised by 2 nurses that 'it was the weekend and medical equipment like that was not available'.

4.

Despite advising the consultant doctor that her stroke glove was needed, and were available on Healthfield Ward 1 - this was still not obtained by the time I left some 2 hours later.

5.

The attending nurse asked to me undertake swabs from my mum - from her nose and groin.

How is this correct? I am not a nurse, I had no gloves nor provided with any cleansing equipment or similar.

The care provided to my mum has been sub standard in my opinion just when she needs help the most.

I do feel that all the senior management of CUH should visit the hospital on a Sunday night and they will see what actually happens.

No amount of money will solve the unprofessional attitude and lack of care together with 'cant be bothered' problems with this hospital which I have witnessed on numerous occasions over the last 2 weeks.

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Responses

Response from Croydon University Hospital

Dear Anonymous

I am very sorry to learn of the problems that your mother and you have encountered following her admissions this month to Croydon University Hospital and I appreciate that you have taken the time to let us know.

I have discussed your concerns with the matrons in our Emergency department and the ward managers in AMU and, as both are very busy units, without more information I am unable to address some of the specific issues you mentioned. I have tried to provide some answers, albeit on a generalised basis, but if you would like to contact our PALS office, I will be happy to arrange for a detailed response to the points you have highlighted.

As you may be aware, our Emergency department (ED) was relocated just over two weeks ago to allow for the rebuilding of our Accident and Emergency department, which means that our staff are all working in a relatively new environment. Following your feedback, the ED matrons have spoken to all staff in the department and emphasised that food and soft drinks should not be consumed in the work area, although bottled water is permitted for hydration purposes in this very busy area.

For patients who have suffered a stroke, I understand that, unless the patient is experiencing symptoms of an acute stroke on admission, they would not need the facilities of a specialist stroke ward and would therefore be admitted to a ward appropriate to their immediate problems. I am advised that there are gloves available for different purposes, which are normally prescribed as part of a patient's rehabilitation. There are oedema gloves, which are used to minimise swelling, which are not usually removed, except for washing. There are other types of glove used to assist rehabilitation and motor skills but, again, these are considered as part of the patient's rehabilitation assessments.

The stroke bed would most likely be a pressure relieving mattress, which is used to minimise the risk of pressure ulcers forming or worsening when a patient is not mobile. Our wards are able to arrange for these to be delivered fairly quickly when needed, but they can take a little time to arrive if there are no spare mattresses available on the ward. However, nursing staff are trained in a range of options which will ensure that the risk of pressure ulcers is minimised in the interim, such as by regular turning of the patient. I apologise that this was not explained to you and that you were left with such a poor impression.

We do have senior staff on site at weekends and the Trust and our staff have been making good progress in improving the experience of our patients, particularly for unexpected emergency admissions. As mentioned previously, we have relocated our A&E services recently, which has enabled us to ensure that all people presenting are promptly triaged by our trained ED nurses, and we also set up our revolutionary new Edgecombe unit this month. This new unit brings together some of our key services – including Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) frailty unit, and ACE fast track clinic services, ambulatory care (outpatient medical care) and the COPD hot clinic – to offer our patients fast-track acute medical care without having to go through ED.

I apologise again that you and your mother did not have such a good experience.

Kind regards

Graham Richardson

Deputy Manager, PALS and Complaints

You can contact our PALS office on 020 8401 3210 or at ch-tr.pals@nhs.net

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