"Pretty good but some obvious downfalls."

About: Good Hope Hospital

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My elderly mother was admitted to ward 21. A large sign warned us that Norovirus was present in the hospital and requested that we use the hand wash as soon as we entered. The 6th machine we tried actually worked. Mum was in this ward for some days, and despite her various visitors each reporting the empty machines, and promises of passing it on, nothing changed.

There was constant changeover of staff on this ward and again, we had to tell every shift that mum MUST drink. Endless promises of making sure she did drink, recording the fact for the next shift, and no-one took any notice. This culminated in mum getting a urine infection and losing her normal rationality - she spent three days rambling rubbish. We went from being able to have a normal natter with her to being talked at by a total stranger. It was very upsetting for her relatives, though not so much for mum as she didn't know what was happening. Then she developed very painful gout, caused of course by not drinking enough. It was not that the staff were unwilling or unpleasant, in fact they were lovely. It was more the awful organisation.

Mum was moved to ward 9 in the Richard Salt Unit, where she still is. This was much better as there is more continuity of care including a lovely doctor who is in overall charge of the ward. But still it usually takes a long time, for example, for mum's bell to be answered, and she is bored stiff!

Again, the nurses are lovely - caring and professional in their approach but there is too much to do much for the number of nurses provided, and no time to stay and talk to the patients. i though this was part of nursing care? If not, then it all becomes very clinical. They are very willing and happy to do whatever a relative asks but the patients are elderly and most are not able to speak up for themselves. I must stress that I feel there is a huge desire on the part of the staff to do all they can, whatever is best for the patient, and they are caring and kind.

One problem we came across today. Mum is now only in hospital because she has been lying in bed for so long that she has lost the ability to walk. She should be having regular physiotherapy but is not. I spoke to the physiotherapist today and the reply was that there are too many patients to see and they are doing what they can. I am sure they are but I am most concerned about mum as she will never leave if she does not learn to walk again. Something to remember - for all patients, but especially elderly ones, every single moment of every single day of their lives is precious.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Good Hope Hospital

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your feedback and comments on NHS Choices website, this website also feeds into the Patient Opinion website, www.patientopinion.org.uk which is viewed daily by the Trust and a response to your posting will be available here. If you are unable to view the response and would like to discuss further please do not hestitate to contact us (Patient Services on 0121 424 0808) alternatively on www.patientservices@heartofengland.nhs.uk Kind regards Patient Services Department

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