"The deputy sister of the ward ..."
About: Colchester General Hospital Colchester General Hospital Colchester CO4 5JL
What I liked
The deputy sister of the ward - she was a carer of a relative and actually understood what it means to care for someone.
What could be improved
My mother, for whom I am a deputy as she has dementia was an inpatient for two weeks. In this time, she lost 4 kg in weight. I left a care plan with the nursing team to explain that they would need to monitor her food and fluid intake and support her needs. Nurses did not, they did not even check that she had swallowed her medication. I saw this happen. They were too busy. I asked at the end of my mother's stay that she should undergo a continuing care assessment. I was told that the social worker would contact me - she did not. I had to request the continuing care assessment again in December and I am still awaiting it. Furthermore, it was stated in my mother's care plan on leaving hospital that she should see her consultant neurologist after 2 weeks - we are not going to see him until the end of January - over 9 weeks since her departure from the hospital. I note furthermore, that often meals and water were put out of reach of my mother by meal delievery staff - probably the most basic error any staff member can make particularly since my mother was recovering from newly onset epilepsy and had issues holding a spoon and swallowing.
If you want to improve the care of dementia patients going into hospital you should allow their families to stay with them all the time (rather than having visiting hours). Secondly, all staff should be trained to deal with dementia and should talk to the family before they begin to care for the patient. You should at the very least have a form that family can fill out that explains what abilities the sufferer has. Dementia sufferers have very different symptoms - staff should not think they all have exactly the same issues, not all are immobile or aggressive for example. The prejudice and lack of common sense was quite obvious and certainly went against my mother's human rights to be treated as an individual and in a dignified manner.