"Concerned about grandmother's care at Yeovil District Hospital"

About: Yeovil District Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My grandmother has been residing in Yeovil Hospital for the last 3 weeks since she had a severe heart attack whilst unattended in her home.

Since staying at the hospital I've noticed countless faults in the system and staff - mostly the latter. Myself and my mother tend to visit my grandmother every other day, but find it a very disheartening and woeful trip when we do so.

Obviously hospitals are never a fun day out, but the lack of cleanliness and manners of some staff are abysmal. Several times I have entered my grandmother's ward and the patient adjacent to her has excreted in her bed. After a full fifteen minutes of the poor women left shamed and dirty, I had to take it into my own hands to personally inform a staff member of this stranger's incident. I find it appalling that she had not been attended to sooner and that no regular checks were made to ensure these kind of problems did not occur.

As well as this, on arrival one particular day, the alarm to draw the attention of the nurses was sounding in the bay my grandmother resides in. It wasn't until over half an hour later that a nurse entered the bay to see who had sounded the alarm. Imagine if someone had fallen out of their bed. Would the nurses still wait a full half hour to attend to their patients then? Do the patients have to scream to be heard? It was in fact my grandmothers alarm that was ringing, which makes personal matters even worse.

Now, my grandmother's a proud woman, and she won't admit if she's in pain or upset or generally uncomfortable. But her pride was tarnished when no one was there to escort her to the toilet. Her bed was wettened, and her clothes made unwearable. We were there to witness this turn of events, which caused her pride to lessen further.

Within three weeks she's fallen twice, once even managing to cut her throat. We were never informed of these incidents until actually visiting, whereupon all we had to do was see with our eyes the events that had unfolded behind closed doors. When confronted, the excuse was that no one had answered when they called. Do they not know how to operate an answerphone message?

I understand completely that patient information is confidential and so answerphone messages aren't particularly viable. But surely a little information is better than no information whatsoever? It just scares me that one day she may fall, and no one will be there to help her back up. Elderly patients need constant care and support and I don't believe that Yeovil District Hospital are providing that.

I feel that standards need to be improved. The nurses I have met are confrontational and grumpy, ill mannered and just generally temperamental. The hospital's facilities have recently been improved, but yet the wards still look as if they haven't been cleaned in weeks. Granted, there are nurses who help an incredible amount and do everything within their power to make you and the patient feel settled. But shouldn't every staff member be this way?

It would be lovely to hear your views on this subject. I hope others don't have to suffer the torment of constant anxiety about their relative's safety whilst in the hospital's care. If you can't trust the hospital, who can you trust?

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