"The best care and treatment I could have hoped for"
About: Southampton General Hospital Southampton General Hospital Southampton SO16 6YD
Posted by Christopher Walton
What I liked
I am writing to tell you about the treatment of my mother Marjorie Walton who was admitted as an emergency and transferred to Ward G5 on the 23rd Aug 2011. She died on the 24th Sept from congestive heart failure. She was 88. For all of the time she was in hospital she was treated with the utmost respect, dignity and humour. The medical care could not have been better in the face of a rapidly worsening medical condiiton and the onset of depression. The doctors were brilliant and spent as much time with me as I wanted to discuss her condition and treatment. When it was clear that there was little else that could be done and she had refused further treatment they were able to explain clearly and consisely to me what the implications were and the likely outcome.This helped me enormously in being to explain to her what was happening and what the result would likely be. She was therefore able to face death calmly and with dignity. Despite her condition she was very lucid and articulate. All of the nursing staff showed terrific patience and humour as she could be quite demanding. I had to remind her a couple of times that she was in hospital and not a 5 star hotel!
She had nothing but praise for all of the staff and formed some good relationships in the 5 weeks she was in hospital. On the morning she died I saw one of the young girls who brought the tea round in tears when she realised she had gone.
I was lucky enough to be with her at the end. I am an only child and this was very important to me and to her. Having also been with my Dad when he died in 1993 in Countess Moutbatten I am amazed that the nurses seem to know exactly when the time has come. A nurse brushed her hair and applied some moisturiser to her face just 20 mins before she died and despite knowing the end was near she totally appreciated this important gesture as did I.
The pressure on staff is enormous in this ward and I am incredibly grateful for their amazing care and attention.
What could be improved
I am sure there are few small things that could be improved but to be honest none immediately spring to mind and given the overall treatment of my mother it seems churlish to think some up.
All too often these days the NHS is heavily criticised for its treatment of patients, particularly the elderly. Good experiences are rarely reported and I hope this has in a small way helped to redress the balance. Elderly patient care must be one of the most difficult and frustrating areas of medicine and I have nothing but praise for those who choose to work in it. The obviously distressing loss of my mother was eased considerably by the care, treatment and attitude of all of the staff she came into contact with.