"My mothers journey and treatment"

About: Heartlands Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My mother was admitted to A&E Heart of England Hospital. It was clear to see that the A&E department was very busy at my mothers time of arrival. Nevertheless, she was seen promptly by a Doctor and diagnosed with cellulitis of her foot and sepsis. She was prescribed fluids and IV antibiotics which were administered immediately by a fantastic male charge nurse, he was very caring and compassionate. He explained everything he was going to do regarding my mothers treatment clearly. He also explained that no beds were available on wards at present but she would be moved when one became available.

When the night team came on duty a lovely staff nurse took over my mothers care. She commented on how uncomfortable my mother looked lying on the trolley. She asked the porters to fetch my mother a bed and we assisted her onto it. We had been in A&E about 3 hours. I asked the nurse at this point would we have to wait much longer for her to be moved. She went to enquire and then informed us that it might be quite a while. However, I didn't mind because she had received excellent care and I could see how busy the department was. I could not fault the care she received in A&E. Therefore, myself and her husband decided to leave her in their care.

According to my mother she was moved to ward 20 that evening. She informed me that the care she received on this ward was excellent too. The next day she was moved to ward 22 and her husband was told she may be able to go home. Therefore, he headed to the hospital and parked in the disability bay and displayed my mothers badge in the windscreen. He believed he was picking her up that day. However, it was decided she needed to stay and receive another day of IV antibiotics. When he arrived back at the car there was a fixed penalty notice on the windscreen. The day in question was a very windy day and the only explanation is; that when he shut the car door, the wind blew the badge down because he found it next to the gear stick in the car. He then spent 45 minutes wandering around the hospital trying to find someone to sort this out, to no avail.

My mother was very anxious about stopping in hospital another day but we persuaded her that she needed to. I went to visit her on ward 22 on the following day and again my mother reported she was happy with the care on this ward. However, we were told that she would need to be moved for the 3rd time in 48 hours sometime this evening. My mother was not happy about moving again and to be honest I wasn't really either. I didn't complain because I understand the pressures on beds, being a Nurse myself and as the Sister on W22 explained, they needed a monitored bed space. I took my mother for a drink and when I arrived back on the we were told she was moving now.

My mother was taken to ward 7 by a very nice HCA. When we arrived on the ward the nurse didn't seem to expecting us yet and explained the bed space wasn't ready. I said don't worry we will wait and she can stay in the chair until it's ready. A very polite HCA came and cleaned the bed space thoroughly. The nurse then came and administered my mothers IV antibiotics via the electronic prescribing system. Although, my mother wasn't very happy about being on this ward I explained it would be only until tomorrow so she could receive her IV antibiotics.

However, she did not receive any further medication that night or the next day until just before she was discharged in the evening. When she enquired about her medication that evening she was told she had been discharged off the system. The doctor came the next day and she was still not put back on electronic prescribing. The doctor wanted her stay in hospital another day to receive the missed doses of IV antibiotics but she refused. Therefore, she missed 3 doses of IV antibiotics which I find unacceptable. She also missed other medication which she takes for her blood pressure and thyroid. She was very anxious about this.

My other concerns regarding the care on ward 7 are: she received a jug of water on admission to the ward however, it wasn't changed the next morning, she wasn't offered assistance to have a wash and struggled herself and didn't get dressed until her husband arrived to assist her; she was offered no assistance to go to the car on discharge, her husband went to the car and fetched a wheelchair, he then left her in the wheelchair at the entrance whilst he moved the car closer. He then struggled to get her in the car on his own.

We would like to know why she was not put back on electronic prescribing, was a Dr notified she had been discharged by mistake.

Why her water wasn't changed even though she asked several times?

Why she was offered no assistance with washing or dressing?

Why no assistance was offered to getting her to the car?

I have written this complaint on behalf of mother and her husband

Thank you to A&E, ward 20 and 22 for your care it’s a pity her experience has been let down by the care she received on ward 7.

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Response from Margaret Mitchell, Deputy head for patient services, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Dear loughlk

I was very pleased when I started reading your feedback and pleased that you were so happy with the care and treatment your mother had received on wards 20 and 22 and A&E. I am sorry you felt the treatment on ward 7 did not match up to her initial treatment on arrival at the hospital.

If you would like to take up your concerns formally regarding the treatment your mother received on ward 7, please get in contact with the Patient Services Team on 0121 424 0808 or email bhs_tr.Complaints-ConcernsandCompliments@nhs.net

Kind regards

Margaret Mitchell
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