"Staff couldn't find the source of the smell!"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

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My dad was admitted over a week ago. The infection he went in with has now cleared but he has picked up a mystery bug which has not yet been diagnosed. After many conversations with staff regarding their lack of care regarding my dads dementia and diabetes, I visited yesterday to find a powerful smell coming from his room which, hadn't been present the day before. He was sat in there with the door and windows shut and no bedding. The nurses said hey couldn't find the source and had even got the room cleaned by the cleaning staff. Common sense tells me that a smell doesn't just appear without cause. I questioned if anyone had thought to check that the smell wasn't coming from an infection from my dad. The nurse checked and found he had been sat in his own bodily fluids, had developed a rash and wasn't aware of any of this. I couldn't believe they had cleaned the room but not my dad! Whilst they showeered my dad I looked in the cupboard and found soiled clothes ect in a bag. The smell had been from my dad and from this bag. I took 5 minutes to figure it out. I don't know how long he had been left in this condition but I would assume quite some time for a rash to develop. There have been a couple of very helpful nurses/HCA's on the ward but also a mix of ignorant ones. Later in the same visit my dad needed the toilet suddenly so I pressed the buzzer....only to find the nurse, designated to his care, didn't even move from the desk. No diagnosis, no doctors to talk to, no investigations or tests to find out the cause of his problems except to rule out Norovirus.

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Response from Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

We would always wish to resolve any concerns about a patient’s care at the time. For every shift on our wards there is a designated nurse in charge who is responsible for the safety and quality of care of all patients. If a patient or relative has concerns then these can be raised with them immediately. The nurse-in-charge is in a position to put things right quickly and if you are not satisfied then our Matrons or our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) are here to help.

We want to follow-up any instance where a patient’s care does not meet their or their relative’s expectations and would ask individuals to contact us directly so that we can look into any concerns and ensure that we learn from any shortcomings.

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