"Upset by care of my Gran"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

(as a relative),

The Queen Elizabeth in Gateshead placed my grandmother (Nana) on the liverpool care pathway (LCP) without informing my Grandma, or any of us, her family. We would have removed her, if we had known what was planned by the staff of this hospital. On several occasions, my Gran, was ready to be discharged then contracted more bugs from this hospital.

While Gran was in this hospital she contracted MRSA super bug. My Gran was a fighter, and recovered from this hospital super bug. Soon after, she contracted E. coli and Klebsiella.

Nana was in and out of hospital from October until her life ended April of this year.

The catalogue of events that unfolded in this time period, were nothing short of disgusting in my view. She had been admitted to wards that were filthy, Her bed, was beside the bins, on many of her earlier admittances. On one particular occasion the floor was stained and filthy under one of the bins, it was similar to a dirty bus shelter. I reported this to the staff and they cleaned it. It was still very dirty and they said it was rust marks from the bins. I touched the floor, and the dirt was still coming off on my fingers.

One particular occasion she was given a sleeping pill, and allowed to go to the toilet by herself, Gran fell asleep on the toilet and fell off the toilet and on to the floor and bruised her head and face and neck so badly, she looked like a car crash victim. We still have pics of this on our phones. In fact the bruising and swelling was so severe, she still had bruises from this, at the time when she died. Other patients visitors thought she was in hospital for those injuries, because they looked so horrific. People kept approaching her asking her how she received her injuries.

The final admittance was by far the worst.

My Grandma's was addmitted into hospital with a broken hip in early February. She fell at home. After the operation medical staff removed the stitches and the wound reopened and became infected. She had to go for another operation to have the wound washed out and reclosed. This was apparently dangerous, yet she pulled through this too.

I am her Granddaughter. The horror commenced, the head nurse informed us that my Gran had gases in her stomach, that would be naturally absorbed into her body, nothing to worry about. The very next day we were told she was dying, and would be dead soon, this came as a great shock, as we had just been told she was fine. I felt that the staff were blunt and without feeling, they just dropped the 'bomb shell' without a meeting or discussion of any kind. 'The new out of the blue diagnosis they disclosed to us was Gran had poison leaking into her stomach from her bowels. There was a slim chance this would close and repair itself. My grandmother said she was not in pain, and she had no fever, and seemed fine. The hospital staff seemed to starve and dehydrate her for days, and moved her table out of her reach. She even commented to me, about this, saying 'look they have moved my table, so I cant reach it, its like I don't need it any more'. The hospital did not tell any of us, they were putting her on the LCP They told us, they were keeping her comfortable this was we felt very sneaky, it appears 'keeping comfortable is the title of Liverpool care pathway. Well it certainly is, if you don't want the patients family to know. We were led by the hospital to believe she was dying naturally, and they were keeping her comfortable with morphine and other drugs. The hospital staff certainly did not tell us it was the LCP. At that moment in time, none of us had heard of LCP and did not know it even existed, until I heard a doctor mention it, like it was a paracetamol or something of no real interest.

The hospital started by giving my beloved Grandma injections of morphine in the hand, and a lot of pills with no more than a mouthful of water to swallow them. Gran said to the nurse I need more water to swallow those pills', and the nurse give her a tiny bit more, and said she shouldn't be doing this. The nurse said I am not supposed to give her more water. Grandma was tired, but was still conscious at this stage. she was given no food and no drinks. My gran could talk to us, at this stage, she forced herself awake to talk to us, her visiting close family. The next day Gran was given further injections too, and was not allowed food or water for two days. The next morning my youngest daughter and her friend visited my Gran, they found her sleepy from the drugs and lethargic due to lack of nourishment and hydration. I visted in the afternoon with my eldest daughter. We arrived just as my youngest daughter was leaving. To my horror when I got there, she was so heavily sedated she was unaware that we were there, with her. My Gran appeared semi comotozed from drugs from the syringe driver. That was not her, at all. The hospital did not ring or inform any of us, they just went ahead and started the morphine driver while we were not there, with her. It seemed to me, it was done, so it was under way before we arrived. The whole time I was unaware what it was. If she could have woken she most certainly would have. I was so concerned, and went and asked to speak to a doctor. A doctor came down as I said I was concerned about her breathing. I asked them why they had stopped all her crucial medication, heart pills etc. They said she did not need them. I asked the staff to feed her, or at least, give her fluid and antibiotics. They refused without an explanation. I knew this was not right. How could she possibly have a fighting chance, without her life saving drugs and fluids. Every living thing needs fluids, and when a person is sick, they usually need more fluids.

The hospital had linked her up to a syringe driver and it felt like they left her there to rot. They popped in to see her only several times in a 14 hour period. This was to move her. moving my Grandma caused her to be anxious, and she started shouting groaning. I called my family to come to her bed side, as I knew she looked very poorly at this stage. The hospital did not provide oral care or anything, that would be of benefit to her well being. We requested the mouth care, as it was common sense that she needed this, as her lips were sticking to her gums, and she kept sticking her tongue out, as it appeared she was desperate for water. It felt like no one monitored her health, or checked if she was improving. Nana eventually received mouth care only when we requested it for her. She would not have got this, if we had not asked for this for her. It was very distressing, Gran could not talk, and did not know we were there. She pulled herself up several times and shouted 'help'! and home! It was as if she was asking us to take her home? We just sat there powerless, as the staff assured us, she was fine, and none of us new the full extent of what was happening to her. We sat from 1. 45pm until she sadly passed away at 3. 55am early the next morning.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

We're so sorry to hear, that your family had a bad experience at the QE. Some of the issues that you mention in your message should be investigated. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Team on pals@ghnt.nhs.uk or 0800 953 0667 if you would like us to investigate the issues you mention further.

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