"Afterlife care"

About: Monklands District General Hospital / Care of the Elderly

(as a relative),

I have worked as a CSW since 2010 and within my clinical experience when a person has passed with family in attendance we ask the family to leave the room while we wash, re-dress, change sheets, tidy and lay flowers.

Recently my Gran passed away and although the family were asked to leave the room, we came back to flowers laid out but with my Gran still in the same soiled nightdress and sheets. I took the time to brush her hair and put her glasses on myself.

I understand the pressure the NHS staff are under, I just wish to highlight the lack of basic care/respect in this case. Small things that we do everyday can make the biggest difference to those saying goodbye to loved ones. My Gran would be mortified to know she had been left like that - we would never allow living patients to lie in soiled sheets and those who have passed deserve the same respect.

Hope to highlight this to avoid others going through the same, that last image is important to the family and it's up to healthcare staff to make it as "pleasant" as possible.

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Responses

Response from Eileen Clarke, Senior Nurse, Care of the Elderly, Monklands Hospital

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Dear NHS89

Thank you for taking the time to contact us on Patient Opinion at this difficult time.

I am sorry for your loss and feel very sad that the last experience you and your family had in our care was not to the standard I would expect. I absolutely agree that the small things we do for bereaved families can make such a difference and I have discussed your comments with my staff and would hope that this would never happen again. Please accept my sincere apologies and be assured that as a site we will share your experience with all our wards to ensure that staff understand the impact this has had on you and your family.

Kindest regards

Eileen

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Response from Ruth Thompson, Chief of Nursing Services, Monklands Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear NHS89

Please accept my condolences following the death of your Gran. I do appreciate this is a very difficult time for you and your family.

I am truly sorry that your memories of your Gran have been tarnished by a lack of compassion, consideration and respect for a dying patient and their relatives. Your description of the care delivered to your Gran is not of the standard I expect and I am saddened and dismayed that this has been your experience.

I would find it very helpful if you would consider meeting with me to discuss your experience, if you could contact our patient affairs team on 01236 713065 to arrange a suitable date & time. I will also discuss your Patient Opinion posting at my monthly Senior Charge Nurse forum to ensure as a site we learn from your experience.

Kindest regards

Ruth

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