"My 83yr old mother was 1st on ..."

What I liked

My 83yr old mother was 1st on the list for a total knee replacement under spinal block. I rang the hospital around lunchtime and was informed that she was back on the ward and was comfortable. I arrived for evening visiting hours at 6.15pm and was distressed to find my mother still unwashed following her operation. She was in a stained theatre gown and her hands were covered in blood. She was still obviously confused from the sedative but she did not have her false teeth and did not know where they were. Despite this and her unwashed condition she had been given, and had just eaten, a meal. Staff were unable or unwilling to speak to me or give me any information regarding my mother's condition or operation. I tried cleaning her up as best I could with her own cleansing wipes. After about 20 minutes a staff member asked me to step outside and 2/3 of them then proceeded to clean and change my mother and left, again without speaking or acknowledging me. 3/4 days later, my mother was ill with sickness and diahorrea.

What could be improved

Basic care and cleanliness could have been observed. However busy staff were in the previous 8 hours my mother should not have been expected to eat a meal in such a dirty condition. Someone could have allowed my mother some diginity and had the decency to wash my mother's hands (at least) and provide access to her teeth at least before she ate even if this could no t be managed at any other time in the previous 8 hours.

Someone could have been willing to speak to me regarding my mother's operation/condition.

Story from NHS Choices

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