"Complete lack of dementia awareness"

About: Macclesfield District General Hospital

My parent was admitted to ward 8 during the night. I live a long way away. My parent has dementia and needs much more care and support than he gets from East Cheshire Adult Social Care. Psychiatry has said time and again he lacks capacity and needs residential care. My parent has repeated falls and UTI, has an admission (last time DOLS was in place as they were so confused) then goes home to same poor care package and the cycle begins again.

I telephoned this morning to enquire about the situation before planning a long journey. The ward clerk told me my parent "was fine" I asked for further information and was told my parent could ring me later if they wanted to. I explained they had dementia and didnt have capacity to do that - or to know who I was and what my phone number was. They said they would get the nurse. I heard them politely ask and the nurse's repeated response in a raised voice was "tell her she has to come in". I again explained the distance (this is a repeating scenario, its a long way and I cannot come daily so need to be able to save the visits for when its vital - eg the parent is very ill or the consultant wishes to sèe next of kin. They said sorry I had to go in. I asked if they had our contact details to which they said yes and read out a name I have never heard of! I explained my parent has dementia, they are confused and say things that are not true. I again asked for information and eventually getting nowhere with the clerk or the shrill voiced nurse (she has to come in, tell her to come in) I ended the conversation by saying the parent is in hospital and should be safe, there is a link to social care so discharge should be safe. I wonder. The notes didn't record dementia. Nor did they record that because of the dementia appointments for eye care had been missed. My parent could go blind because of the lack of treatment (now planned for next week) but if they dont have the glaucoma meds now that could happen anyway. Is that on the notes? Probably not and if you need more information your main point of contact is a person that doesnt exist. I know what will happen the same as last time - you have 2:1 nursing because they are so confused and a DOLS then the following morning decide they are fully recovered you will ring next of kin and expect them to make a trip of hundreds of miles and take leave from work at a moments notice to take the patient home. But I wont worry this time about that as Mrs Fictional Nextofkin will be collecting him. Is it only the patients who have dementia one wonders.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Macclesfield District General Hospital

We were very disappointed and sorry to read your comments regarding your parent's care. Please contact the Customer Care Team to discuss this matter further and they will be more than happy to assist you. They can be contacted on 01625 661449 or e-mail on ecn-tr.CustomerCareService@nhs.net. The trust aims to continually improve the quality of services we provide and your feedback is key to achieving this.