"Maintaining Independence"

About: Monklands District General Hospital / General Medicine

(as a friend),

My elderly friend, whom I have supported for several years in the Community, was admitted to Ward 12, Monklands Hospital with a minor infection.

She already had a care package in place,

Eventually, after two weeks, I wrote to her Consultant to attempt to expedite matters. This is an edited version, to protect identities.

No answer was received, and I find this discourteous in the extreme. My telephone number, which was enclosed with my correspondence, had been given to the Nursing Staff.

In the letter I wrote that your patient is begging to leave the hospital – if for nothing else, to be reunited with her dog.  I also shared a plan for how I could accommodate both.  The one question the patient asked me yesterday was:  “When is somebody going to ask me what I want? ”

The patient herself, when asked about the care stated the following:

    Courtesy is lacking - especially at meal times:

    There is an officious attitude.

    Nobody she came into contact with seems to care a great deal.

She is now at home, where staff have to work 24-hour shifts. I have seen no discharge plan. Nobody from the hospital has been in touch.

I wonder how she was assessed for such long hours.  She is most unhappy.  What happened to the "Our Voice"?  What happened to person centred care.

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Response from June Delaney, Senior Nurse, Medicine, Monklands Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of June Delaney

Dear Pioneer

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch via Patient Opinion. We certainly realise the value of carers and appreciate the role they play in supporting family and friends. I can clearly see that you have been supporting your friend in the community for several years and I’m sorry for the frustration you have experienced whilst she was in hospital with us.

Whilst I’m not able to address your concerns fully on Patient Opinion, I read your feedback with concern and I would be keen to look into the issues you have raised.

If you feel able, please contact Melanie Maclean in the Patient Affairs Department at Monklands Hospital on Tel No: 01236 713065. Melanie will take further details and ensure we have the appropriate consent and permissions to look into this further.

Warmest Regards


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Update posted by Pioneer (a friend)

Thank you for your help and support, Melanie.

I have two questions.

1) When the patient has no relatives, but someone claims next of kin status in an absence of capacity, is this seriously legally binding?

2) I always believed that the patient had to specify the next of kin. In a case like this, if people were gathered together, the patient most certainly possessed the capacity to choose. She no longer remembers names with any clarity, but she is certainly aware of who she wishes around her.

This could have been done easily. Why was it not addressed?

Response from Melanie MacLean, Patient Affairs Manager, Patient Affairs, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Melanie MacLean

Dear Pioneer,

Thank you for your further response.

I do understand your frustration as a worried friend and I can advise that we have shared your feedback with staff for reflection and learning. However, as explained during our recent telephone conversation we can only follow our guidelines when investigating complaints.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further please do not hesitate to contact me on 01236 713065.

Kind regards

Melanie MacLean

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