About: Tameside General Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked


What could be improved

staff-patient-visitor communication. Husband was in the stroke unit and his treatment was disgraceful. soiled pad left on the trolley where he ate; he was given fish and chips when he was on a soft diet. he was left on toilet far too long and when I said something he was then whisked off and on in a minute before he'd done anything. The list is endless. I kept a diary. All attempts to talk to people met with a blanket 'lack of communication'. I kept quiet in the end as I was worried about my husbands welfare and just wanted him out of there!!!

Anything else?

I am just grateful my husband cannot remember anything of his time on the stroke unit

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Response from Tameside General Hospital

Thank you for posting these comments. I am sorry you had a negative experience.

The posting was anonymous, but the criticisms were sufficiently serious that we have spent some time looking back at our records of previous patient/relative concerns to see if we could identify the specific set of circumstances involved. From the details you have cited, we believe we have been able to identify the right patient, and so we are going to take the unusual step of making a specific response to an anonymous posting. If we have not made the correct identification, then please accept our sincere apologies.

To the best of our knowledge, the incidents described happened nearly three years ago (June 2007). In response to your concerns about lack of communication, I have spoken to staff who were directly involved in your husband’s care, and they have assured me that an action plan for communicating with you husband was agreed and implemented. One nurse in particular has told me that she remembers spending a considerable period of time with your husband, and that she is confident that he was happy with communications.

Your husband was being moved back on to solid foods in a phased manner, and a pureed meal had been ordered for him. He found this unappetising and asked to have fish and chips (which was being served on the ward that day). A member of nursing staff removed the batter and mashed some fish and some chips, and this was fed to your husband by a member of staff who had been specifically trained in managing patients with swallowing problems. This was what he had said he wanted.

The soiled pad should not have been left on a trolley. This was a significant error, and the matter was dealt with properly with the member of staff concerned. Sister apologised for this failing.

Your husband had intermittent lose stools and constipation. Every effort was made to manage his toileting as effectively as possible, with your husband being given sufficient time on the toilet when he needed it.

Although you say that you kept quiet, the staff on the Stroke Unit have clear recollections of discussing all these matters with you.

Clearly, there is a risk that we have not identified the right patient here, and I would restate my apology if this is the case. However, when there are serious criticisms of the standard of care, we would always prefer to deal with them directly with the people concerned. If you feel able to do this, we would encourage you to make direct contact with the hospital, so that we can investigate these issues more formally, and ensure that any required actions are taken.

Stephen Gardner

Director of Planning and Performance

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