"Shocking care for a new hospital!"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

My mother of age 90 was admitted on Friday 17 June at 12.45pm as she was struggling with respiratory problems and a possible chest infection, ambulance staff were great getting her downstairs as she was unable to walk, they rolled up blankets to make a pillow for her as she cannot lie flat, once at the hospital my sister was told that the ambulance staff had not booked mam in so she would have to wait until 13.45pm to be booked in, waiting time was listed as 3 hours and by a real coincidence she was seen by a doctor just minutes before the time was up! She was then put in a cubicle in the Green room where a nurse came and put a line in to take some blood and incase antibiotics were needed. Blood was taken then that was if for hours, no one came in, took no blood pressure or sats just left her on the trolley. When I arrived at 17.30pm they were still there, a doctor came in and said he 'thought' it might be a chest infection, we mentioned the breathlessness so he said he'd arrange a chest x-ray. They eventually came and took mam for one and we waited again for ages before the doctor came back but he was still not 100% of what it was. They decided to swop beds for mam as she is very fragile and has a bed sore so they put her on a hospital bed but didn't have a pillow so we had to fold blankets up for her to keep her head upright. My sister left just before 22.00 and I stayed with her, the doctor appeared and I mentioned about how mam normally has pain relief so they got the nurse to put some paracetamol up on the drip and also some antibiotics etc after a while a nurse came to put it up but it would not run through the line, after several attempts another nurse came in and put another line in her other hand but still no joy, they both left, the hand with the second one in started to swell and was bruised, when the nurse came back I said about it not going in and they then put a needle through the lid of the bottle and it was just a drop going through not as I have seen these work normally. Also all this time nothing had been checked, the doctor came back and I mentioned this and they asked about her breathing as she had been on oxygen at home some time ago but they said she was fine, they asked me what her sats had been? I was shocked that they did not know this from the notes, I could not remember so they asked mam if they could try to do a blood test to test her levels but after much trying they could not get the needle right, my mam was in real pain and crying out, I felt sick and thought I was going to pass out, they then tried the other hand much to mam saying she was in pain, again he could not get the needle in the right place, I was utterly distraught by it all and felt so sorry for mam. At 23.30 their was a place on Ward 9 for her so we were taken up, the nurses their were lovely, straight away the head nurse noticed that both lines were not in correctly and sorted it, 11 hours later I went home, mam is now in NT. Cramlington system is shocking!

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Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear SA,

Please accept my apologies for the care your mother experienced with us - your review was such a sad one to read. I felt ashamed that we couldn't do more to support your msm, I can't imagine how distressing this must have been for you both.

I can't apologise enough for the pain your mother experienced as we carried out the necessary tests. I am deeply concerned about the issues you have raised in your review and I would like to offer you the opportunity to discuss them in more detail.

With your mothers permission, please could you email me with your details and I will arrange for the appropriate member of staff to contact you directly. My email address is Annie.Laverty@nhct.nhs.uk. In the meantime I will speak to our team in Accident and Emergency to try and get to the bottom of what went wrong and discuss what we can do to avoid this happening in the future.

I hope your mam is doing much better and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience