"Partnership of Caring"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Elderly Medicine

(as a relative),

My mum is 91 years old and suffers from Lewy Body Dementia she had been in Acute Receiving of the QEUH the previous week and discharged with a UTI but had continued to decline resulting in the GP arranging a re-admission. I have looked after mum since her condition was diagnosed 5 years ago and know the patterns of her condition, what is normal for her and what her hallucinations tend to focus on. I know her medication inside out and every hospital admission she has had and what treatments/diagnosis have been undertaken. Strangely though my experience has been that this information is rarely fully taken into account when treating a patient.

Like a breath of fresh air on her 2nd admission she found her way to Ward 4B of the QEUH - and into the day to day care of Dr Mullin. At last someone listened, he took on board everything I had to say, would discuss things in detail with me and always had time to go over how mum was and her test results and, as I have power of attorney, the treatment options for mum. He could see my frustration at what had gone before and bent over backwards to make sure I felt included in all decision making for mum. He understood my concern at leaving a very vulnerable, bedridden lady in someone else’s care and was at pains to assure me that staff were well briefed on each patients needs.

My mum is usually very fractious when in hospital, her main concern being no-one listens to her and that she is ignored - this would often cause her to become even more delusional. Dr Mullin had such a great way of talking to her, making her at ease, helping her feel safe and most importantly understood.

When we first got to the ward it was rather chaotic as it had just been set up, but within a few days the ward became much more structured, interaction with all staff was really positive and I felt very happy leaving mum in their care. Thanks also to Dr Reeves, her consultant, who I have the utmost respect for and who also took great care and patience with both my mother and I during a very difficult period. The flexible access and encouragement I was given to be there for my mother at all important times was so very much appreciated.

It was a true partnership of care - family and medical staff - with a single aim to do their very best for the patient.

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Responses

Response from Consultant Physician, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear Geetf

Thank you for posting your comments about ward 4b QEUH on Patient Opinion.

Apologies for the delay in replying but I wanted to share your detailed comments with all the ward staff as well. Given the 'new' nature of the ward, it's very kind of you to forgive our slightly chaotic beginning, and we're glad her care ended better than it started.

It's very kind of you to take the time to do this, particularly as your Mum has just been through such a difficult time and we hope she is adjusting to her new home.

The care of patients with dementia must involve their families and carers, and there are some exciting possibilities to make this happen. One of these is John's campaign,

http://johnscampaign.org.uk/#/

which could easily be implemented and would seem to help, and give the type of care that you thought was good.

Although Dr Mullin isn't a permanent member of staff (he's not leaving the UK, he is a locum applying for posts in Scotland), his commitment to the ward and his patient centred care have been very evident to all the other staff, and it's very kind of you to highlight him in this way. The ward staff agree that he is an exceptionally good doctor.

Ian Reeves

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