"The nurse on duty knew nothing about my Mum's condition"

About: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust / Emergency ambulance Lincoln County Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

My elderly mother who suffers from vascular dementia fell at home at 3pm one Sunday afternoon. We rang 999 and the ambulance arrived at 4. 30pm after Mum had spent an hour and a half on the floor. She had a very deep wound to her leg and pain in her other foot, she had lost alot of blood and was extremely confused. The ambulance left at 5. 12pm. She arrived at A&E at 6. 50pm even though her house is only 30 minutes from the hospital.

My mother was left on a trolley then for 4 1/2 hours with an open wound. The cut had not been dressed at all. There were lumps of her flesh on the trolley and on the floor. She was eventually seen by an extremely rude doctor who neither looked at her or myself and only spoke when I spoke to him. The wound was stitched and then Mum was left for a further 3 hours on the trolley before she was finally taken to a ward at 2. 30 a. m. She was agitated and extremely confused. None of the staff had been interested in whether she had dementia and whether it was safe for her to be left alone. She had during this time been taken for an X-Ray and had I not gone with her she would have been left in a dark, deserted corridor for almost an hour.

She was taken to MEAU. When I visited her there the next day she was sat in a chair. Her bed had one thin (about a cm thick) pillow which I think was from the trolley the night before and only the covers from the trolley she had come in with. She had no blankets on the bed and a nylon sheet. There were still lumps of her flesh on the bed, on the floor and stuck to her slippers.

The staff I saw were unhelpful and acted uninterested and uncaring.  The lady in the next bed to Mum had been calling for a nurse for at least 30 minutes. I went to the Nurse's Station twice and asked that someone come as the lady was asking for the toilet. No-one at the station bothered to look up or even acknowledge me. The only comment was that she had just been to the toilet. No-one came. Finally the lady lifted her nightie to show me. She was soiled from her knees to her waist. Still no-one came. Finally a very kind lady who was serving lunch fetched a member of staff.

The lady on the other side of Mum needed feeding. A woman came to do this and shovelled 2 or 3 spoonfuls into her mouth. The old lady was on her side, clearly in much pain and clinging to the bars of the bed. The woman who was feeding her never spoke only to tell the old lady to "Cover her mouth when she coughed". She showed this vulnerable old lady neither care or respect. The woman then stopped feeding her. A cup of tea was left on her trolley and we had to tell a member of staff that the lady needed help as she couldn't reach it herself.

My mother was not offered any lunch and when I asked why I was told she wasn't on the list for lunch. My mother thought she had to pay for lunch so didn't ask for any. Had I not been there she wouldn't have eaten.

The nurse on duty knew nothing about my Mum's condition. She didn't know that she had a stitched wound on her leg. She didn't know which foot had fractures in it.

The entire ward seemed full of staff in all different uniforms but not one of them seemed to care for any of the poor souls left on that ward.

I left the hospital feeling totally disgusted, saddened and depressed. What is the World coming to when old people can be treated in this way by people who are supposed to care.

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Responses

Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear daughter46

Firstly I would like to offer you and your Mother my sincere apologies for your awful experience at our Hospital. As Head Of Nursing for both the A&E department and our Medical assessment Unit ( MEAU) I am appalled to read of your concerns. The lack of care, compassion and dignity provided to your Mum and the other lady you mention is totally unacceptable. The standards of care you describe fall well below the high standards promoted by the senior nursing teams for both A&E and MEAU.

I have shared your posting with the Head of Service and Lead Consultant for the A&E department so he can address the concerns you raise regarding the rude doctor with his medical teams. I have also arranged to meet and discuss your feedback with the Ward Sister for MEAU and the Senior sister of the A&E department.

I would like to discuss the detail of your concerns with you directly so ask that you contact either myself tracy.bell2@ulh.nhs.uk or Sharon Kidd, Patient Experience Manager on either 01476 464560 or sharon.kidd@ulh.nhs.uk.

I look forward to speaking to you in due course.

Regards

Tracy Bell, Head of Nursing, Lincoln County Hospital