"I hope my father's last days were not in..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

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I visited my father Mr James William Stephenson on Ward 4 in the afternoon. I wish to register my disappointment with the attitude of the nurse on duty towards me. My late father was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital after collapsing at home. My father suffered from Lewy Body Disease and was diagnosed with various infections together with heart trouble. I had been principal carer for my father.

I eventually managed to see my father after arranging cover for my mother with my brother who managed to visit my father daily. I was very distressed to see my father in such difficulties and with a breathing mask. The auxiliary assistant was busy but I discovered that Dad was also on 'nil by mouth.' A nurse appeared to changed Dad's antibiotics and curtly addressed me, 'Are 'you' a relative?' I replied 'daughter'. She again curtly addressed me 'What's 'his' base line?" I did not understand this jargon. The nurse then asked in the same manner if 'Dad got up by himself'. I replied that he does and that I bath and dress him. I asked about nutrition but did not recieve a reply.

I noticed that Dad's catheter was leaking and the side of the bed was damp. I asked the nurse about this and she said it would be changed. I spent some time with Dad but was worried that Dad was damp. The nurse returned and said the procedure would take five minutes. I was told to wait in the corridor. The nurse came out and I was told in a very abrupt manner that the 'monitor' where I was sitting was 'confidential' and 'that I had no right to sit there.' She ran down the corridor saying 'sorry' but I was upset at being spoken to in such a manner. I retorted that 'it should have been made clear.'

I waited in the corridor for twentyfive minutes and had to leave at 4.40. The nurse said that it was 'good' that I was leaving as a doctor was going to attend. This was insensitive to me and my father. My dear father died on 21st March. Perhaps the nurse understands his 'base line' now.

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Responses

Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

I am very sorry you feel that the standard of care your father received was not up to the high standard expected and that you have concerns over the attitude of some of our staff.

We are concerned about the issues you have brought up and in order for us to investigate these issues I’d encourage you to raise this with us directly. If you would like to do this please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 953 0667.

Please accept our condolences at this difficult time.

Ian Renwick.

Chief Executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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