"A dreadful time in A & E"

About: Manor Hospital

At 7 p.m. on June 10th 2016, my confused Mother aged 102 with a G.P. diagnosis of ? D.V.T following a fall in her care home, was taken to A & E after waiting about 5 hours for a non-urgent ambulance. She was to have her left leg scanned on that afternoon.

We (daughter and son in law) had travelled for 6 hours (in bad weather) from the North East on a routine visit.

We were told to stay in the waiting area while they took Mother to a cubicle. The drinks machine was not working properly. Despite a screen predicting a patients' wait of one hour and thirty minutes, no cubicle was available for Mother for 3 hours and 30 minutes. Despite my numerous requests to the receptionist on duty, I was told to stay in the waiting area until 10.40 p.m. Had the A & E staff forgotten her? Then after making a fuss,

I was eventually allowed in. Mum had been left on the trolley bed which was now wet as was the incontinence pad. She had no pillow and one inadequate cotton cover folded double, over her. She had a unfastened, wet hospital gown on. She was crying because she was desperate for a bedpan.

Her feet were hanging uncovered off the end of the stretcher. (She was confused and did not understand what was going on or what the buzzer was for.) Numerous requests were made by me for help. No staff were available (too busy) then one nurse, new to the unit, came with a bedpan. They found a clean sheet but there was no pillow or blanket to be found for some time. A friend and I covered Mum's feet with her old cardigan. I wrapped my cardigan around her shoulders, a coat was placed over her and a carrier bag containing her own clothes was rolled up under her head because her neck and back were aching. The new nurse who was called away several times, eventually took her routine observations three times and a doctor came and took a blood test. Then we were told the scan department was closed but an Xray would be performed. Mother was admitted to the Acute Medical Unit at 01.00a.m. next morning (June 11th) after a total of 6 hours. We were told to wait in a corridor with no seating while Mum was made comfortable. There one nurse was busy at the reception desk and a doctor was arguing with someone a the ward phone. Not so good. Remaining staff were very busy in the ward.

We arrived at our temporary residence, my brother's home at 02.20 a.m.

Fortunately care on the Acute Medical Unit was good and staff were patient and helpful during Mum's stay.

I was not impressed, in fact I am very upset at the lack of care to a vulnerable, extremely frail, elderly lady in the Accident and Emergency department.

Story from NHS Choices

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