"C.Diff and poor care for my grandmother at The Mater, Belfast"

About: Mater Infirmorum Hospital / Trauma & Orthopaedics

(as the patient),

My 83 year old grandmother was admitted to The Mater Hospital in Belfast on the 29th of August 2007 with pains in her stomach. I followed the Ambulance to A+E where I met up with her. She had "fallen from her wheelchair", I was told. No-one knows why she wasn't strapped in! After 3 days, and a mis-read x-ray, she was diagnosed with a fractured hip. She then took a heart attack several days later.On the 11th Sept, a Nurse told me she had contracted C.Diff. Her "infection control room" was anything but clean. A digestive biscuit from a previous patient lay inside cupboard for 4 weeks before being removed. Crumbs still left. I regularly cleaned what looked like excrement from the bed rails. Her nails were constantly caked and were only scrubbed when I did it.

I only saw one Nurse ever wash her hands in front of me. The floor was disgusting. Spilt juice lay for a week until I removed it.I was fed up sticking to the floor and so had to. The room had NO notice to warn visitors of infection or to alert them to the dangers of C.Diff, like washing your hands instead of using the wash gel provided. (this encourages the spores of C.Diff to multiply rapidly).

She lay for so long with infection that her hip fracture had fused together and no operation was to be carried out. On the day they were to discharge her, I waited until 5.30pm and when she hadn't arrived I phoned only to be told that she had "fallen" again. Again, not strapped into her chair. After 3 more x-rays and six days of waiting for someone to report on them, my Grandmother was sent home at 10pm at night with no wheelchair. They've lost it! She is bed-bound until it is found. The sister was to ring me back to-day. Still waiting! Oh, and the most pathetic thing about it all, the Doctors letter sent home states that she was ’admitted with C diff’! Some of the Nurses may be excellent carers, but we need to face facts, our hospitals are sometimes disgusting.

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