"My mother's recent stay in Langlands unit"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Elderly Medicine

(as a relative),

My elderly mother was admitted to the unit in September 2015. A number of issues occurred during her stay which I have detailed below:

My mother was not given a shower for 3 weeks.

There was no communication with family members.

When I approached nursing staff for information no one could tell me anything. On countless occasions the response was 'I don't know'

There appeared to be a culture of 'us and them' between nursing staff and medical staff; nursing staff refused to answer any questions and frequently told me that they were not qualified to answer my queries.

On the rare occasion when nursing staff did respond to my questions the following day another staff member would contradict what I had previously been told.

My mother was due to be released on a Friday but at the last minute she was kept in with view to an additional scan being carried out. She spent a full week without any treatment plan or input from staff before the scan was carried out. All requests to take her home were rejected as she would lose her slot in the queue for scans. This was despite the fact that I was able to get her to hospital within a 20 minute window.

The 'us and them' attitude was evident to me in the relationship with ward staff and the radiography unit who refused to put a timescale on the pending scan saying that they would get to her eventually.

Apart from the inconvenience to my mother and my family having to continue visiting her this was a complete waste of a resource - a bed was blocked for a full week.

When she was eventually discharged I was phoned by a member of nursing staff and told that my mother could be collected from the discharge ward. This was a room that she was put in with her belongings. No interaction with nursing staff with any information about services / medication / prognosis despite the fact that my mother was very confused and unable to understand or relay information to me.

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Responses

Response from Ian Reeves, Consultant Physician, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear Jintie M

I'm sorry to learn about your experience of the recent care of your mother in our elderly care unit, wards 51-57 at QEUH. This falls far below the standard of care we expect for our patients and their relatives. We hope you can accept our apologies that this happened.

You raise a number of issues including the care and communication on the ward, and the 'discharge lounge' that we use for patients who are being discharged.

We are particularly disappointed that you found it difficult to get information from the ward nursing and medical staff. We can understand how this would have added to the frustration and given the impression that we didn't care.

We would like to learn from your experience and work out how to improve things. Although we can't undo what happened, we can make sure it doesn't happen again for other people.

One of the great things about Patient Opinion is the ability to initiate discussion with patients and their carers in this way. Thank you for posting about what was clearly a difficult time for you.

We would like to offer you the opportunity to get in touch with us so we can apologise more directly, and learn more about the specifics, such as which ward it was. If you feel able to do this, please contact us on the details below.

Helen Reid and Joan Edge Lead Nurses

Older Peoples Services - Stroke in Wards 51-57 QEUH

Tel: 0141 232 7969

Helen.Reid2@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Joan.Edge@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

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