"Totally incredulous at how human beings..."

About: Pilgrim Hospital

What could be improved

Last year my 90 year old Aunt was admitted to the Pilgrim after a fall at her care home during the night. She seemed unhurt but staff wanted her to have a check up.

She was examined and had only bad bruising, but wasn’t allowed back until Social Services (?) had visited the home to make sure it was still suitable. She had to stay for a week before this was done.

My Aunt was wearing a flimsy, short nightdress and light dressing gown. During the whole week she had none of her medication, no spectacles, no money, no change of clothes, nothing to wash herself properly with or clean her teeth with. She was offered nothing but a flannel during the whole week!! And she had to lie on the bed all day because her bedside chair was too uncomfortable, due to back pain, without a cushion. A nurse offered to get her one but it never arrived.

My Aunt cannot walk well, hence the fall, and has to get up in the night. She was given a commode for the first two nights, but on the third and subsequent nights she was told she was well able to walk to the toilet by herself, that they didn’t have many commodes and someone else needed it!

My Aunt had never been admitted to a hospital before. She is a polite, unassuming, churchgoing woman, is always properly dressed, has all her marbles, has pretty good hearing and is very reluctant to complain. However I have seen her slowly getting depressed and more complaining since having to move into care, and latterly experiencing your hospital treatment.

Why didn’t anyone notice my Aunts situation?

We know staff are busy but how long would it have taken to ring the care home for what she needed, no matter who’s responsibility it ultimately is?

One of the main worries of elderly people is keeping themselves ’clean’. Surely basic human kindness would compel staff to help a frail old lady to the loo, if not I suggest you reappraise your staff!!

Anything else?

I am unsure about the date and department (see above).

Although some time after the event, an article in the press this week has prompted me to contact you. I feel I should have done so sooner.

I live 3 hours drive away from my Aunt and visited at the end of her stay. I found staff noticeably distant and uninterested compared to other hospitals I have unfortunately had to visit in the last couple of years. (The Luton & Dunstable, The Lister in Hertfordshire, Norfolk & Norwich University, Papworth, The Conquest in Hastings, if you’re interested)

(The care home has also been complained to for their lack of attention re her medication etc.)ComplaintsBruisingAttentiveOpening hoursPatient careServiceUninterestedCleanlinessToiletsWashroomDepression

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Jennie Negus, Deputy Director of Patient Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Jennie Negus

It was very hard to read your feedback - there is no doubt that we let your Aunt down and that the standards of care she received were well below what is expected. You have mentioned seeing articles in the press about this time and you will therefore be aware that there were a number of concerns raised, some relating to the care of older people. Clearly I am responding to you many many months after your Aunt's stay; but we have only recently set up our systems to review and respond to postings on Patient Opinion - as a part of these we feel it is important to go back through older postings too.

I obviously cannot track back or respond to the detail of your Aunts stay; but I can hopefully reassure you to the huge amount of work that has been undertaken at Pilgrim Hospital over the past 12-18 months. This has included focused work within elderly care and clear pathways of care for people admitted from nursing homes - all this too late for your Aunts care with us at the time, but our internal assurance and monitoring processes tell us that we have not inly improved in the areas of concern but maintained that improvement too; indeed the CQC have lifted most of the sanctions they placed on us with just 2 minor concerns remaining as improvement projects are completed across the Trust.

I am truly sorry for what was not only a dreadful experience for your Aunt but equally worrying and distressing for you; I would like to thank you for taking the time to tell your story - it is still valuable to us even after this length of time.

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful