"My mothers admission into the QE "

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My mother who was 82 years of age was admitted into hospital in mid-February 2013.

She spent 3 hours in casualty on a hard cold trolley, with no pillow and a thin blanket, on a freezing cold night, suffering from a chest infection, COPD, pernicious anaemia, diabetic, neuropathy in her legs, weighing 5st, dehydrated, and saturations of 72 on air, resps of 32, and low blood pressure.

Taken to MEAU, at 22.00 pm where she spent a further 6 hours on the trolley. Eventually she spoke with a doctor but she couldn't understand a word he said. I told the nurse I couldn't leave mother till she was on a bed, as her pressure areas would break down. At this request she was transferred onto a bed.

Not enough staff to make my mother comfortable, as she was gasping for breath. I informed staff over and over that intravenous antibiotics were not running. In reply the said "at least she's had half". If she was meant to have half the dose it would have been prescribed. No drip stands, daughter had to stand and hold IV antibiotics up high so they would infuse

I returned the next day to find mother slumped down in bed, same dirty nightdress on inside out, and very upset. I asked when she was getting transferred. The reply was "soon". 6 hrs later she was transferred in a wheelchair through the cold corridors to ward 6.

I got my mother settled and came away at 19.00. The following day I got a phone call to go straight in, they needed to see me. I arrived to be spoken to by the registrar and was told my mother had a massive heart attack and died.

To think that my mother spent her last hours on MEAU horrifies me and my family, having to view her body on a 6 bedded bay, wearing the same dirty nightdress inside-out.

I only hope I never have to return to this hospital ever again.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

We're sorry to hear you weren't happy with your recent experience at the QE Hospital. We'd really like the opportunity to look into these issues further for you. You can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 953 0667 or pals@ghnt.nhs.uk, and the team can look into the issues you have raised. We take the dignity and safety of our patients very seriously, we would be keen to listen to any feedback that improves care for other patients. You could also visit our website www.qegateshead.nhs.uk/pals for more information on the team who can investigate your concerns.

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