"Poor experiences in Lewisham's rapid assessment unit"

About: University Hospital Lewisham / Accident and emergency University Hospital Lewisham / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My sister was admitted to A&E on Saturday - and I couldn't fault the A&E staff. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the nurses working on the Rapid Assessment Treatment Unit (RATU).

There must have been about 4 beds occupied of a 10+ish bed ward. One of whom was my sister. Opposite her, an elderly lady sat in a chair. I watched her ask THREE times to use the toilet, only to be ignored. It was only when my mother walked passed her and she asked again - that my mum went to tell the nurses. They did nothing. I then had to watch this elderly lady wet herself.

Not only did she wet herself and they then mopped around her, completely ignoring her, and not making any eye contact. They left her in her soiled underwear.

In the afternoon, the very same thing happened. I heard her ask in a very clear voice, to go to the toilet. Nurses ignored her. One said 'in a minute' and proceeded to walk off. I then watched the women get very upset and her hands started to shake as she announced (as the nurses walked past) that she would get into trouble soon.

My partner then went to tell the nurses again, that she needed the toilet. They did nothing. It was only when I marched up there and reminded them, did they take the chair-potty to her bed.

They must have been in her cubicle for a good 15 mins and it is my belief that because it was difficult to move her from the chair she was sitting in, to the chair-potty, they thought it would be easier to just leave her.

Absolutely despicable. I hope to god I never have to be in that ward. I felt the care offered to my sister was non-existent. From 9am - 5pm, they visited with her once and we had to prompt them to get the doctor who was supposed to see my sister, we had to get them to release her. I felt it was awful.

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