"Concern about the dignity for older people at Yeovil Hospital"

About: Yeovil District Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

Recently I had the experience of visiting a close relative in Yeovil Hospital, and these are my observations. My mother-in-law was taken by ambulance to A & E. The ambulance service was fantastic and so was the A & E Dept. She was then moved to intensive care and once again the care and staff were excellent and we were kept well informed at all stages. She was then moved twice and this is where her care was not so good.

There was no continuity of staff looking after her, and no one seemed to know what to do with her. Also some of the time it was very difficult to converse with the staff as their English was not easy to understand. Each time we visited no one seemed to know how she was unless they read her notes. How would they know if she was improving if they had not been there the day before? Also we always had to ask to see who ever was in charge to get a progress report and to see her consultant, no one ever approached us.

One day we arrived and she had been hoisted out of bed and sitting in a chair beside the bed, she was so exhausted she was unable to hold her head up and her chin was stuck on to her chest, she had, I believe, been sitting there since 10.00am and when we visited it was 4.00pm. She was also dribbling badly as her head was pointing down to the ground. It was very distressing to see her like this, she had completely lost her dignity and no one seemed to notice.

The next day she was kept in her bed as she had taken a turn for the worse. When I leant over her to say hello I noticed that her nightdress was much stained from her dribbles and the smell was horrible, once again no one noticed and it was up to us to point it out. I realise how hard nurses work and how long their shifts are and how very difficult their job is. But it seems to me that the caring and compassionate side of nursing has disappeared and in its place is a preference for a fast paced person who has no time for basic nursing skills. No one seems to have the time to stop and check the wellbeing of patients and to get back to the basics of caring and the comfort of their patient.

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Response from Alison Male, PALS Officer, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Hi nsnet4,

We are very disappointed to read your comments and are sorry to hear about the experience of the care your mother-in-law received.

Our aim is to provide high quality care and to do this we need to work with our patients and their carers when they have any issues.

We would really appreciate it if you would contact us directly, as we would like to fully investigate your concerns, with the aim of ensuring that we identify any problems with our care and put them right. It would particularly help if we could know which wards are being referred to and the time period the problems occurred.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Officer can be contacted on 01935 384706 or can be emailed on pals@ydh.nhs.uk.

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