"I constantly had to get out of bed to get help for an elderly lady"

About: Rotherham Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a service user),

I was recently in hospital for personal reasons but what I want to say is the treatment of another patient who was in the opposite bed to me. She was a very elderly lady who was very confused as to where she was and kept trying to get out of bed. I constantly had to get out of bed or use the emergency call button to get her some help as the nurses were just not around and they were well aware of what this elderly lady was doing. I'm not saying that the nurses were neglectful but perhaps very understaffed.

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Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Kittybutler, Thank you for taking the time to make this posting and for your concern for one of the other patients who was clearly very confused. I sincerely apologise that you were disturbed in this manner at a time when you were also in need of care and rest and hope that you have fully recovered; nursing staff should have been available to support the elderly lady you refer to.

Ward Managers are responsible for maintaining adequate staffing levels although these can sometimes drop below what we would expect if there is unexpected staff sickness absence, and I do not know if this was the case on this occasion. I would however have expected the nurse in charge to escalate any staffing concerns to the senior nurse within the unit or to the hospital site manager in order to move staff from another ward area to provide support as necessary.

If you would be willing to take a little more of your time please can I ask you to contact our Patient Services department at complaints@rothgen.nhs.uk or telephone 01709 424461, to allow us to undertake a thorough investigation of your experience and identify the ward and team you refer to, so that we may understand why staff were unavailable in this instance.

With best wishes,


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