"Unhappy about the care of my brother"

About: Rotherham Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My brother was admitted to the hospital in January, first to the intensive care unit, then to the HDU.

Two days later he transferred to A4 ward. When I arrived a nurse came to the bed and said "I've got your tablets" to my brother, to which I told her that he was nil by mouth due to not being able to swallow as he had ulcers on his throat which was bleeding, At this she scowled at me and said "he's not nil by mouth". I said well he was when I left him at 7.30pm the night before. She then just put the tablet down and went to leave. I asked her if I could have an update as I didn't think she knew anything about my brothers state. I was told someone would come and talk to me.

I then realised that my brother wasn't attached to anything, e.g. feeding tube, fluids, which he had on the HDU, and he had deteriorated dramatically, the only thing he had was the catheter. I went to the desk and asked again if I could speak to someone, they said they would get someone. After 3 and half hours, I saw the nurse and approached her and asked if she could explain the reason why everything had been taken off him. At this she said "well we've been here before with him haven't we?" I said no we haven't, and that it didn't matter even if we had, he is still entitled to the care and attention he deserves At this she walked off.

I wasn't happy at all as I felt this was very unprofessional, I shouted "don't you have a handover?" Another nurse came and asked if I was ok, I told her what had been said and asked if any of them had any idea as to what we had been told by the doctor which was that my brother was in a critical condition and that he wasn't going to pull through.

She said the nurse would be spoken to about what she had said. After a while a nurse came and asked if my brother had had a feeding tube in, which if they had read his notes should know that he had. They then came with ice-cream, which was like milk, my brother managed a few small amounts. They put him back on fluids, and then I left to go for a drink. When I returned a nurse came over and said that my brother had had his tablets, which they made him swallow, my brother told me his throat was hurting and that they had made him swallow tablets.

My brother kept telling me he was hungry, when I told nurses they came with another ice-cream. I filled my brothers menu sheet in and asked for soup. My brother was very uncomfortable. I noticed he was wearing a pad, which hadn't been changed all the time I was there which was all day.

The next day when I returned to my brother, a nurse came and said to another, "she's here look" and then looked at me and said "you come to try and catch us out" to which I answered I shouldn't have to. Then she said "only kidding" which I found to be unprofessional.

My brother was telling me he had bad stomach pains, and that he needed to pass urine. I told him to let it go, due to having a catheter on, then I realised he didn't have a catheter on, it had been removed. When asked about this the nurse said she didn't have a clue why it had been removed. 4 hours later my brother was in pain due to needing to pass urine, I kept going to the desk and getting told they'll sort it.

Another 2 hours had passed when they finally came and put him a catheter back on, and changed his mattress due to getting sores, also they put him 2 cannulas in his arm. Dinner had been and gone by this time, so I asked for my brothers tea, to which I was told there was none as he was having something done when tea came, so I said I ordered him some soup. The nurse said well it will be cold now and it couldn't be warmed up. My brother ended up with ice-cream yet again.

I didn't feel that I could leave my brother, so I stayed overnight with another family member, and the next, sadly my brother passed away at the end of January.

I really don't feel he got the care that he deserved and I dread to think what would have happened if none of his family was there for him. I just feel sorry for the patients on that ward as I feel they don't get the care they are entitled to.

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Responses

Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear sasha1234,

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your detailed comments on the Patients Opinion web site. We really do appreciate your feedback and were most concerned to read your account of your Brother’s recent stay at our hospital on Ward A4. Clearly your observations reflect a standard of care that is unacceptable. In order for us to best address the issues you raised regarding your Brother’s care, we would really value you making direct contact with us via our Patient Services Department, who have been made aware of your concerns, directly on either complaints@rothgen.nhs.uk or by telephone on 01709 424461.

With best wishes,

Grace

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