"St Mary's Hospital"

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

(as a relative),

Late one afternoon at the end of November my father was taken to St Marys after a fall. He was assessed, so they say and tests carried out. It took me an hour and a half to track down which hospital he had been taken to but having had it confirmed, I was asked to ring back in an hour after the Doctor had assessed him.

This was duly done but the 'nurse' answering the phone spoke English in a way that was extremely difficult to comprehend. Once she understood who I was asking after, she said my Father was NOT there. I told her that he had been admitted that afternoon and to look again. She reinforced the same message. At this stage I asked to speak to her superior who told me that my Father was fine but they would keep him in probably until early December.

Late on the Sunday evening, when my Father had been in hospital for eight and a half hours, we were woken by a phone call from the hospital ward asking us to deliver catheters for him as they did not have the required length available.

I was appalled that his assessment was so poor that no one ensured that a ninety year old man, who had a history of losing a kidney to cancer and losing his ability to pass water without the means of a catheter years ago because of another set of what I would consider to be bad NHS decisions, was now in pain and needing us to drive across London in the early hours of the morning to make up for the poor organisation of the hospital. It seems to me that he could not have been being monitored at all if they could not wonder how a man could go for 8 hours without passing urine.

As he is carer to my mother who has Parkinson’s we were concerned and took her for a check up to the day clinic the next day. They established she needed respite care and it was arranged for us to take her to Princess Louise nursing home and a bed arranged until Wednesday or Saturday depending on the outcome of the improvement of Father.

On Monday after delivering my mother to Princess Louise I travelled to St Mary's to deliver his medication and pyjamas which had been requested the night before after the delivery of the catheters.

As I arrived late afternoon, the nurse told me that he was to be discharged that day. I told her that Mother's respite care had been arranged on their previous information but was told that they had decided that as there was nothing they needed to do for him he had to go.

I had to return to Sussex, having taken a day off work to sort out the mess and now finding it was all unnecessary. I warned them that he would be returning to a house alone with no support, having fallen less than 24 hours previously. I asked for them to confirm that he would not be vulnerable, which of course they could not do.

We waited for the next two hours, being told that they would discharge him when the Doctor was available. We kept being told the doctor would be with us in ten minutes. This was never accomplished. In the end after waiting until 6pm we discharged ourselves, signing a piece of paper to meet the requirement need of the NHS.

I am horrified that my father was;-

Inappropriately assessed

Inappropriately cared for and in my opinion, neglected

I am angry that I, as a relative, was;-

Not advised correctly in relation to admissions

Expected to make up the shortfalls of the NHS equipment

Ill advised about length of stay

Asked to wait for two hours for discharge.

I am aware that NHS staff are under stress owing to understaffing. I am aware that the world does not revolve around my family. However I feel that this whole sad and sorry tale needs to be drawn to your attention so that no one else is subject to the same attitude to patients.

On a brighter note the care in Princess Louise was exemplary and the support of the St Charles day care centre has been fabulous for the last year or so that my parents have been attending. In my opinion, the staff at both of these sites put the staff I dealt with at St Mary's to shame.

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