"Concern for elderly care"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

My gran who lives alone had a fall in her home. She managed to call her daughter to advise her of her fall - my aunt quickly went to see her. My gran suffers from short term memory problems so was unclear where she had fallen but could not stand upright. We called for an ambulance as she was in alot of pain - we were told that it was not an emergency and they would get to her as soon as they could. 4 hours later the ambulance arrived - they suspected she had broken her hip and took her to the QE at Gateshead.

This was after 9pm and remember she is 90 years old - they then had to go through triage which took over 3 hours from her being received into A&E to being seen by a doctor - she was put in an assessment room where the doctor said nothing was broken. After some time convincing him something was wrong and pushing for an X-ray they relunctantly obliged. The X-ray they said showed as they suspected nothing was damaged broken or fractured it was just muscle damage. Well 3 weeks later and my gran was re-admitted this time we suspected she may have had a mini-stroke but we werent sure. We called 101 around 4pm and were told a doctor would call back - after 3 further calls we were advised paramedics would be sent. Thankfully my gran had recovered from whatever had happened to her earlier - at 11pm the paramedics arrived, believing she may have had a mini-stroke took her to the QE. The paramedics were from St John Ambulance and they were unhappy with the length of time this 90 year old lady had to wait. She is now in the QE hospital, she has had another XRay as the previous X-ray was not clear - it has now been established that she had fractured her pubic bone! Not great from the first visit and that my gran has suffered the pain without any pain relief for over 3 weeks. I cherish the NHS service but feel that the QE lacks care especially for elderly patients.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

We're sorry to hear about your experience and that you were unhappy with your gran’s care at the hospital. What you describe certainly falls short of what we expect for all our patients.

We'd like to understand a little more about what happened so we can look into this for you. If you'd be interested in doing this, you can contact our PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) team on 0800 953 0667 or pals@ghnt.nhs.uk

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Update posted by Concerned grand-daughter (the patient)

Thank you for the reply. Just for clarification is PALS Part of the QE service?

The reason I ask is that during a visit to see my gran a visitor heard my concerns and advised she had worked in QE complaints dept. She told me that complaints were high in numbers and often ended up in the bin rather than addressed or responded to. Thanks.