"Important to hear from concerned relatives"

About: Hairmyres Hospital / Care of the Elderly

(as a relative),

We have an elderly relative in hairmyres hospital following a trauma. The family are also quite traumatised by the events that led to her admission. We are keen for her to get better as quickly as possible, nobody wants to be in hospital!

While we have found the majority of staff to be patient and caring, there is an element who should not be doing the job. They take any attempt to inform them of anything as a criticism, even if it's to tell them something to improve the patient journey and make her comfortable.

There have been several occasions where we have found spilled medicine and dropped pain medication. We were led to believe that if patients were not observed to consume medications, they should not be signed for.

She also waited 3 days for an enema, being very uncomfortable and embarrassed to ask for this to be done, and being made to feel like she was causing trouble. One of her visitors was actually told by a nurse that they had more unwell patients to think about- I believe this to be a very unprofessional thing to say.

Any attempt made by staff to prevent communication from concerned relatives is abhorrent and goes against the NMC code. It is their duty to Prioritise People, Practice Effectively, Preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust.

Most of your staff do this beautifully, a few definitely let this down.

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Responses

Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Susan Friel

Dear Worried about the future

Thank you very much for your feedback about the ongoing care of your loved one in Hairmyres Hospital. I'm glad to hear that the majority of her care has been good; however I'm disappointed that a minority of our nurses have not been as helpful as I would expect. We try hard to ensure every patient and their loved ones are given the best person centred care we can. When we don't manage to achieve this, I'm very keen that we have an opportunity to learn, so that others don't have the same experience.

To this end, I would be keen that we speak to you, particularly as it sounds like your loved one may still be in hospital. This would give us the opportunity to rectify any ongoing issues, as well as learning from your experience. If you would be happy to do so, could I ask you to phone our Patient Affairs Managers, Christine or Irene on telephone number 01355 585 325.

Many Thanks

Susan

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Update posted by Worried about the future (a relative)

Dear Susan,

Unfortunately the reason I haven't been in touch directly is because she is still in hospital. When we tried to resolve this issue locally, but we felt that her care was affected by the few who took it personally. I don't know the best way to deal with this, and realise you need to know exactly what happened to act directly. I am hoping that perhaps staff are reminded of their duty to put the patient first? Basic to trained staff you would think but lacking in some. Sorry I can't do more at present.

Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Susan Friel

Dear Worried about the future

Apologies it's taken me a few days to reply, as I've been away from my desk.

I totally understand your concerns in raising this while your loved one in in our care, and I respect your decision. However please let me give you every assurance that this would not compromise her care in any way, and it may help alleviate your worries.

If you do change your mind, please get in touch. If you would find it easier to chat to me informally, then please phone Hairmyres Hospital switchboard (01355 585 000) and ask for me and they'll put you through to me. We could then make any plans that would help together. However if you still feel unable to get in touch, of course I understand.

Many Thanks

Susan

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