"Poor diagnosis and care for my husband"

About: Cannock Chase Hospital / Older people's healthcare Royal Stoke University Hospital / General medicine Stafford Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My husband has been through a horrendous experience recently and the terrible stress has made it impossible for me to sleep. I almost felt like drinking to resolve that. He first went into Stafford Hospital for 2 weeks and they didn't pick up that he'd had a stroke.

He was discharged and I took him to the opticians as his sight wasn't right. The optician noticed he had had a stroke. Soon after, he fell down in the street and cut his face. He went back into Stafford and was then taken to Stoke to fit a stent. From there, he was sent to Cannock for rehab. He is now in respite.

His condition has significantly deteriorated and it didn't seem to me the staff cared or were doing anything significant to address it. Stoke was least bad but they had no rehab there and they didn't get him walking. He fell twice in Stafford and once in Cannock.

His hand on his 'bad' side was black and scabbed over one day and next day when I came into Stafford, the hand was bandaged up and he had blood all over him. I asked the staff what had happened and they said they didn't know.

The food at Cannock was disgusting and I even spoke to the catering manager about it. I resorted to bringing soup in for my husband.

My general impression of the staff I met was that they just didn't care. I witnessed one patient begging to go to the toilet and being told to wait a minute. He got more and more desperate, was ignored and ended up weeing himself whilst he was sat in his chair. The auxiliary told him he should tell them earlier next time. His buzzer was on the wall out of reach. Patients get given commodes and just have curtains drawn around them. My husband found that distressing and just wanted to go to the toilet

I never thought Stafford and Cannock were that bad but now I think the sooner they close, the better. The attitude of the staff I met was just terrible. If they don't care, they shouldn't be doing their jobs.

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Responses

Response from Head of Patient Experience, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Dear "Attentive224"

I am sorry to hear that you are dissatisfied with the care your husband has received from Stafford and Cannock Hospital. I apologise for the fact that your experience was poor.

We really try hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients and would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. I would appreciate it if you would be willing to contact me on 01785 887693 to discuss this further.

Kind Regards

Angela Grocott

Head of Patient Experience

Response from Senior Communications Manager, Communications, University Hospital of North Staffordshire

Dear Attentive224,

I'm sorry to hear about your recent experiences regarding the care your husband recieved. Should you have any concerns relating to the care your husband received at University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, we would very much like to hear from you. This can be done by either contacting myself or our Patient and Advice Liaison Service.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Ashcroft, Senior Communications Manager, 01782 555061

Response from Stroke Association

To whom it may concern

We recently saw your Patient Opinion post about the care and treatment your husband received after his stroke. It looks as though the hospitals involved are willing to look into your concerns. If you are still unhappy, you may want to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS is an independent organisation, there to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible. There are PALS officers at Stafford and Cannock hospital. Their details are:

Stafford hospital: 01785 230811 or e-mail them at advice.centre@midstaffs.nhs.uk

Cannock hospital: 0800 407060 or e-mail them on advice.centre@midstaffs.nhs.uk

We also signpost people to ICAS. This is an advocacy service for vulnerable people who wish to make a complaint about health and social care. Everyone has a right to complain if they feel something has gone wrong, and for this reason the NHS has a complaints procedure which can help you to get the answers and explanations you may have been seeking. All services provided by the NHS are covered including GPs, hospitals, pharmacies, opticians and dentists. ICAS advocates will support you through the NHS complaints process. They will explain the options available and support you to pursue your chosen course of action. The Staffordshire ICAS can be contacted on 0300 456 2364 and a link to their website is:

http://www.pohwer.net/how_we_can_help/independent.html

You may also be interested to hear about the work of the Stroke Association and how we may be able to support you and your husband. We have Coordinators across the UK, providing information, advice and support to people affected by stroke. You can find out if there is a service in your area by contacting our Stroke Helpline. Our Helpline staff are there for anyone who has been effected by stroke in any way. We can offer information about stroke, practical advice and support, or simply someone to talk to. The Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100. You can also email us at info@stroke.org.uk

You may also find our website helpful. There is lots of information about stroke, including our range of leaflets and factsheets at www.stroke.org.uk.

I hope that this is helpful and that you and your husband are now getting the support that you need for him to make the best recovery possible.

Yours sincerely

Stroke Information Service

info@stroke.org.uk

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