"Disappointing dementia care"
About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / Older people's healthcare Northampton General Hospital (Acute) Older people's healthcare NN1 5BD
Posted by Anonymous_2 (as ),
My 84 year old father was admitted to Northampton General Hospital after collapsing at home earlier this year. He suffered from dementia and was unable to feed himself.
My mother visted every day to give him his lunch and spend the afternoon at his bedside. She was very distressed to repeatedly find unopened packets of cereal, pots of milk and unused drinks on his bedside table. She was also concerned to find pots of tablets including steroid tablets untouched. Fluid balance charts at the foot of the bed were incompletely kept and apparently not evaluated.
Some of the nurses were caring, some appeared to be in the wrong job. There appeared to be no clear hierarchy on the ward, and there was a sense that messages although heeded at the time, were not passed on.
My father became dehydrated and required a drip, his bowels had not been opened for a week, and he was in pain - we had to ask for help for him. He was pretty forcibly discharged at 7pm via St. Johns Ambulance after we had struggled to find a place in a dementia unit as my mother could no longer care for him at home.
We were left with the general impression that the care was similar to that in a 3rd world country, i.e. that if you did not have relatives to care for you, you would probably die. I was especially disappointed in the standard of care as I am a local GP and have been referring patients to Northampton General for many years, in the belief that they would be obtaining adequate care.