"Very disappointed"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

What could be improved

My father, aged 96, had a fall that resulted in a broken hip, and was admitted to North Tyneside General Hospital early in January of 2010. After being operated on, which seemed to go well, he suffered a major stroke, and lost most of his powers of speech and mobility, and also could not swallow. During his time in the stroke ward he had an acceptable level of care, but on his transfer to a care home the liaison was very poor, and details of his requirements were not made available to the nurse at the home in sufficient time to ensure a good continuity.

The care he received in the care home was excellent, but in June his condition deteriorated, and he had to be readmitted to the hospital, where he died a day or so later. When I arrived at the ward late in the evening , shortly after his death, I was given two carrier bags of his belongings, which I left closed for a day or two while I dealt with various arrangements, involving 200 mile each-way trips from my home. I opened the first bag and found items of clothing and a few ordinary personal effects.

The second bag contained the underwear that he had been wearing when he died, soiled with excrement and accompanied by flies. It is only now that I can begin to deal with this experience, the shock of which looms large as I write. I have hideous images of him spending the last hours of his life in deep distress.

I have no wish to blame individuals, and really the quicker I can finish this note the better, so I can get on with trying to forget the painful things.

But please, do try to avoid this happening to anyone else, it is heartbreakingDeath and dyingFalls trips and slipsStrokeContinuity of careOpening hoursPatient careStroke services

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

The Trust is very sorry to hear of the distressing account you and your father experienced on Ward 22 at North Tyneside General Hospital. The events you describe fall well below the standard of care expected. Please accept our apologies for the distress caused to you and your family.

If you would like to write to the Trust about the concerns you have highlighted above we would be able to write to you personally with the results of our investigations. The address for your letter is:

The Complaints Department

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Cobalt Business Park

Unit 7/8 Silver Fox Way

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE27 0QJ

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