"My mother is currently being 'cared' for..."

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital

What I liked

My mother is currently being 'cared' for at Royal Blackburn. She was admitted to MAU on Tuesday and our experience there was horrific. Mums basic needs were not catered for and I arrived on Wednesday afternoon to find her lying in her bed with her face and chest covered in whatever she had had for lunch one and a half hours earlier. She was wearing a hospital gown, also covered in food, and when I asked her why she told me that she had wet her own nighties twice because the nurses didn't come when she called.

Mum has terminal lung cancer but has been in remission since April. Over the past couple of weeks she has suffered from weakness in her legs and arms and can no longer walk. Blood tests revealed very low sodium levels and she was admitted to raise the levels and to have an urgent CT scan to see what is happening with the cancer.

On the Tuesday I spent 6 hours in MAU and in that time a nurse took her bloods withing 10 minutes. We then waited over four hours before the consultant came. He said he would give mum meds for low sodium and I explained she had already been on them for a week. He then said he'd increase them and left. During my visit on Wednesday afternoon I discovered that they had in fact stopped the medication and increased the steroids which she was being weaned off! I complained about mums loss of dignity and queried the medication. I received an apology from the staff nurse.

Mum was moved to a ward at tea time on Wednesday. Initially I thought she was being better cared for there but now I'm not so sure. She has deteriorated rapidly, partly because it took me 51 hours from admission to get her meds for low sodium increased. She is really confused and they told me not eating very much. I realised last night that she can no longer feed herself. I fed her a banana and a muller rice and she ate them with great gusto, clearly very hungry. She has not yet had her 'urgent' scan!

What could be improved

Communication between health professionals

Basic needs care

Patient dignity

careplan - still haven't seen one although I have asked every day

Care of patients valuables/medications - purse and inhaler lost during transfer to ward

everything to be honest

Anything else?

I could write a book on the lack of care shown to my mother over the past 4 days. She is so much worse than when she was admitted and no one seems concerned. I am desperate to get her out of there and into the hospice where she will receive the care and attention she needs. I am worried sick that she won't make it out of there due to negligence rather than her illness.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››