About: Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Poole BH15 2JB
My elderly mother was admitted to Ansty ward one week ago following a temperature and fall.
After 48 hours she was moved to a side room for barrier nursing because she had been a patient at RBH in December and they have possible CPE. Staff took a swab but stated microbiology lost it so she had to be re swabbed.
She was assessed by the therapy team as being safe to mobilise alone but fell when left alone on the commode whilst the nurse went to do another task with another patient.
Nursing care was extremely varied depending on who was on the shift. Some staff did not help her fit her hearing aids or her teeth thus making it hard for her to communicate and eat. Food and fluids were left on the table in front of her and she was not helped with them. We helped her and put up signs in her room to remind the staff.
Because my mother was in a room alone with the door closed the staff did not check on her regularly enough. However they were often sat at nurse’s station talking. The ward is not dementia or memory loss friendly and some of the staff do not seem to know the basics of working with elderly frail patients - dignity, respect, kindness, re assurance, company. They did not think to prompt my mother regarding fluids and food but treated her the same as other patients on the ward. They never even seemed to help her comb her hair.
Today was the final straw. I received a call from one of the nurses to say my mother was refusing her medication. When I arrived (at 11.30am) a large group of nurses were sat round the nurse's station talking. My mother was still in her night clothes despite me leaving her day clothes and no one had helped her wash and dress or eat her breakfast - it was still on the table in front of her. Her call button was nowhere near her so as the door was closed no one would have heard her if she needed something. I asked the nurse why she was still liked this and they replied they didn’t know.
I told the nurse I was not surprised my mother had refused her tablets as they hadn't helped her put her hearing aids in so she probably couldn't hear or understand what they were talking about and it would be challenging for anyone let alone an 88 year old to swallow 9 tablets one after the other. The doctor had written all the tablets up for the same time.
A few of the nurses were wonderful but mostly they seemed to struggle to understand or provide basic nursing care - communicating and ensuring people have their needs met.
I don't know what would have happened to my mother if I hadn't spent the amount of time I did there. I feel extremely sorry and worried for other older or sick people who don't have an advocate. I heard a man calling for help yesterday who was also in a side room with the door shut and I had to tell the staff. Only the physio went to him, the nurses just looked indifferent.
Its very sad, obviously nothing was learnt from the Francis Report.