"Atrocious"

About: Ipswich Hospital

What I liked

Nothing at all

What could be improved

Everything, especially cleanliness and personal care/hygiene

Anything else?

My 60 year father was admitted to Ipswich Hospital with leukaemia and was placed in a single room on the cancer ward. Given his low immunity, he was supposed to be in a sealed unit, but the door was almost always left open. Other patients and relatives walked past coughing and spluttering and we were not provided with aprons or face masks when entering the room, neither did any of the hospital staff use these.

My father's room was filthy so my mother and I ended up cleaning it ourselves. Staff always left used drips and blood in the sink which we had to remove. My father was unable to get out of bed to go to the toilet or to wash himself because he had a drip in each arm. His calls for assistance with toiletting and washing were almost always ignored. My mother arrived at the hospital one day to find him lying in his own excrement. After that, my mother and I worked 24 hour shifts between us for the 5 weeks or so my father remained in the hospital so that we could look after him properly. My mother did the night shift and ended up sleeping on the dirty floor under the bed. We helped ourselves to laundry and bed pans, etc, unchecked. Staff rarely offered to help to wash or toilet my father and we did this ourselves, even though we both suffer from bad backs, which are now worse from having had to lift my father unaided. On one occasion, a male nurse asked my father if he would like a bed bath, to which he agreed. He then simply brought my father a pan of lukewarm water and a flannel and left him to it!

My father's consultant unfortunately went on paternity leave and the consultant who took over decided to change my father's medication for no known reason. My father's health deteriorated raplidly after that. The consultant who had taken over basically told my father that he was going to die and asked him if he would like some morphine. It felt as if she had written him off and she dealt with my parents in a wholly tactless and unsympathetic manner.

Story from NHS Choices

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