"elderly care"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

(as a relative),

My mother was admitted at the end of November 2012 with acute pancreatitis caused by gall stones. In her late 70s and in good health with excellent mobility, she deteriorated quickly in my opinion due to staff not wanting to administer drugs through iv or injection. They were adamant my mother was 'refusing' medicines but all she was saying was that they made her gag, then vomit, making the drug useless. It took a stand up argument by myself to get them to administer drugs alternately which is ridiculous.

I was with my mother when she became 'septic' and went into shock. A student nurse kept insisting my mother was fine, just a bit cold. Again I had to go and find a senior nurse myself who immediately called for a consultant and mum spent weeks in critical care, who were wonderful I must say.

When mum was eventually sent back to a normal ward, once again I felt the treatment was appalling. She was bed bound and her drinking water and glass were left well out of her reach as was the buzzer for her to call for assistance.

As she was in a side room, no one would have known if she required urgent attention. Faeces were left on the floor along with discarded medical items and packaging. I spent most of visiting time cleaning up the room. The television only worked on two occasions during the 3 months mum spent in hospital meaning that she became very withdrawn due to no stimulation.

Some nurses were helpful but most of the ones I met would not offer any help or time to explain any of the procedures that were done. On many occasions, mum was told she could come home only for another member of staff to say she couldn't come home. Some nurses were heard gossiping between themselves while relatives were left to wait for assistance and queued up to ask about their relatives.

A care package was 'organised' by physio but the day before mum was discharged, we were told she would not need one even though she could not walk unaided or get up from the bed herself. When mum returned home, we were constantly at her home because of her lack of mobility.

In my opinion, this is an appalling hospital with no idea of how to treat patients like human beings. I pray I never have to be hospitalised there.

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Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the trouble to post your comments about our hospital. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

Firstly we would like to offer our sincere apologies for your mother’s negative experience of being a patient at our hospital. We are very disappointed to hear about the issues you have raised. This is not the kind of experience we would want anyone to have as a patient in our care. We always strive to provide the highest standard of care and we are very sorry if, on this occasion, our standards fell short of those we aim to provide.

We really do need to investigate the issues you have raised but we can’t do this without knowing your mum’s details, reviewing her case notes and knowing which areas of the hospital treated her. We also need to know which members of staff were involved in your mother’s care and what ward she was transferred to.

We would urge you to get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 who will be happy to arrange a meeting with you and the matrons in charge of the ward and departments involved.

Response from Laura Broster, Head of Communications, NHS Dudley CCG

Thank you for your feedback. We note that The Dudley Group FT have asked you to contact them with further information so that this can be fully investigated. We would urge you to do this, as it is important that lessons are learnt from your mum's poor experiences, so that this does not happen to other patients.

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