"Treatment of elderly patients"

About: Southend Hospital

(as a relative),

In the early hours of Friday, 25 February, my 92 year old Mother fell down the stairs at home. We telephoned for an ambulance, giving them my Mothers age and the occurrence. The ambulance took 40 minutes to arrive.

On arrival at Southend University Hospital, my Mother was taken to the A&E Department where she was given a painkiller and left in a chair in the waiting room. She was left in the waiting room for four and a half hours. A 92 year old woman who had just fallen down a flight of stairs. We made several attempts to find out what was happening but were told they were busy that night. During our stay in A&E there were no more than five people waiting at any one time.

During this time my Mother, sitting in a chair in only her nightdress and dressing gown, was getting increasingly cold and in danger of impending collapse. No attempt was made to check on her during this period and we ended up giving her our coats to keep her warm.

Eventually we were so worried about how cold my Mother was getting and in what state of shock she might be suffering that we made the decision to take her home before she suffered complete collapse.

Words cannot express how disappointed and angry we feel at the attitude exhibited by Southend Hospital towards my mother who deserved and, quite frankly, has the right to expect, to be treated with at least the minimum of compassion and consideration from the "caring" community. The minimum of compassion and consideration was certainly missing from this experience.

So, bearing in mind the very recent adverse publicity experienced by the NHS with regard to their treatment of the elderly, have any lessons been learned? I think not.

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