"Dad who has vascular dementia"

About: Ailsa Hospital / Old age psychiatry Ayr Hospital Crosshouse Hospital / Cardiology

(as a relative),

Dad had been in both Crosshouse Hospital and Ayr Hospital for 3 months with a chest infection, irregular heartbeat followed closely by delirium, which left him with quite well progressed vascular dementia. He had no diagnosis before he went into hospital at Crosshouse and had been working on the farm until the day before, he is in his late seventies. He has also had a pacemaker fitted in this time.

On his discharge from Crosshouse two months ago he could not talk, walk or eat by himself. He was admitted to Ailsa hospital, Dunure Ward at that stage and within an hour of arriving there he was walking and talking and within days he was feeding himself as well! The staff, doctors, nurses and care assistants, have all been fantastic, we can not praise them highly enough, they have nursed dad, kept him clean and tidy, made sure he was eating and drinking and been a friend to him through all of this so much so that he is now able to be discharged to a nursing home! They also made us as dads family feel so welcome any time we felt we wanted to see dad.

We feel that if dad had been left in Crosshouse hospital or Ayr Hospital his outlook may not have had such a happy outcome as the nursing staff were not able to cope with the type of illness and symptoms that dad was displaying, which sometimes could be very challenging, through no fault of his own. We strongly believe that there should be more mental health nurses within medical wards as people with dementia or mental health problems need the type of specialist care they can offer.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Bella31265,

It saddens me to hear that you feel your Dad did not get the 'specialist' help he needed in Ayr and Crosshouse but delighted he got it in Ailsa, Dunure ward. It is wonderful to hear how well he has come on now. I will pass this to the Management for their consideration and any further comments around such a valid and emotive topic. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Best wishes to you, your family and your Dad,

Kind regards

Eunice

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Update posted by Bella31265 (a relative)

Dear Eunice

I am so sorry that I did not reply to your message, I have only now picked up your response!

Thank you for taking the time to read my dads story. Sadly dad only stayed in the nursing home for a week before we had to have him readmitted to Ailsa Dunure Ward the nursing home could not cope with dads behaviour at night. We are still very thankful to all of the nursing and support staffs for the ongoing care and attention that they offer my dad. My mum, sister and I still feel very strongly that medical wards must have more trained dementia staff and carers as we feel that for someone like dad with vascular dementia these wards are very very scary places.

We are still, as a family, on the long road that is dementia trying to find somewhere that dad can be happy and cared for and where we are secure in the knowledge that he is not afraid or frightened.

Thanks for your time.

Best regards

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