About: Croydon University Hospital

What I liked

I confirm other comments on care of the elderly. My 98 year old aunt was in Wandle 2 ward for seven weeks. I too saw bottles of urine left, spillage on floor not cleaned after a week. Contact with the ward by phone (I live 250 miles away) was almost impossible because of staff shortage.

My aunt was never properly washed. Her hair went unwashed for seven weeks. And then one of the staff told her that she smelled. No wonder

Like another writer, I found the discharge arrangements unco-ordinated and frankly shambolic.My aunt waited several hours for transport to a nursing home, only to find a taxi had been arranged with no capacity for a wheelchair. She then had to wait over a weekend for arangements to be made.

Worst of all was the lack of any stimulation. I watched my aunt deteriorate from a bright, actively intelligent woman into someone who had no interest in anything and just wanted to die. Had she had the means, I really believe she would have attempted suicide.

She is now happily settled in an excellent nursing home and is back to her old self.

It is easy to blame staff shortage or lack of funds, but my impression in the hours I spent visiting, was that there was a lack of basic understanding of old people. They are not a class apart. They are simply young people who have lived a long time.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for senior managers to spend a week in the elderly care wards to experience things for themselves.

What could be improved

Provide simple stimulation. Perhaps something as simple as moving patients so that they could talk to each other, or moving them into the day room where they can watch television. small screens over the bed are not the best for those with failing eyesight. Could not volunteers be given the job of visiting, talking and befriending patients The lady that brought in the pat dog was nice, but could only spent a couple of minutes with each patient.Opening hoursPatient careTelephoneWheelchairsElderly careTelevisionVolunteers

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

We are sorry to hear your aunt had a poor experience during her stay on Wandle 2 and are very concerned that you report such poor levels of personal care.

We are looking into the issues you raise but it would help us if you could contact our PALS manager either by phone 0208 401 3939 or email pals@mayday.nhs.uk so we can investigate further.

As regards transport delays when your aunt was being discharged we can only apologise if the service fell short of the standards we expect and will raise the matter with the people responsible for booking the vehicle. Again if you could give the PALS manager more details of when it was we can investigate more thoroughly.

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