"Poor care for my elderly Alzheimers suffering father"

About: Hospital Of St Cross / Older people's healthcare University Hospital (Coventry) / Older people's healthcare West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

About a month ago my father developed a temperature and fever. We took him to doctors and they gave him antibiotics.

A few days later the fever still remained so we called the GP again. He advised that he would call an ambulance and that was it. We waited and waited and he got worse. Eventually I dialled 999. Immediately answered by the mobile operator but had to wait 10 minutes before they managed to get through to an ambulance operator. Tried four different numbers.

The ambulance eventually arrived and they admitted him to hospital. The GP had apparently put my father on a 4 hour response. He was admitted to Walsgrave hospital which we dreaded, as 2 years before we saw lack of care (dehydration and starvation, dirty messy blooded bedclothes etc). The care was considerably better this time round.

The doctors transferred him to St Cross a week later and my dad was a bit brighter. On arriving at St Cross and being taken off antibiotics he went downhill. The nurses put all our concerns down to 'he is confused cos of dementia' and we were generally ignored.

Records were falsified (checks were made at certain times according to records, but they weren't as we were there at those times and no one came round, fluid intakes not recorded etc). The doctors said he was medically fit and could go home.

After ten days my father was still zombified and had a temperature so we called a doctor out again. They called an ambulance immediately and he was readmitted. The infection had not been cleared and he had come down with it again. He was put on antibiotics and seems a lot brighter now.

However he is back in St Cross. We have raised concerns about a swollen foot two days ago and despite promises about it being seen to it still hasn't. I have never seen so many staff on a ward, except you try to talk to one and all we get is 'not my patient, his nurse/doctor is on a break, I will tell them to see you' and despite this they never appear. We get rude arrogant answers.

I work in local authority. If I was ever to speak to someone the way we get spoken to, I would be suspended and investigated. Nurses speak to you like that and it is the norm.

Warwickshire needs investigating about its care of the elderly desperately.

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Response from Regional Head of Patient Experience, West Midlands Ambulance Service

Thank you for your feedback and I am sorry to hear of your father's experience. I would be grateful if you would consider contacting the Patient Experience Team on telephone number 01384 246366 or via email at pals@wmas.nhs.uk so we can obtain further details to allow the Trust to investigate your concerns.

Kind regards

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Response from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Thank you for raising your concerns on the care of your father at our hospitals. Firstly your comments raise a number of serious issues; the most important is that of false records keeping. All Trust records must be kept and maintained in accordance with statutory requirements and NHS Guidelines, therefore if there has been a breach we would be keen to investigate.

Secondly, we believe that the care that your father has received is not typical of the standard we believe our patients should have. We regularly ask people to provide feedback on the care they have received via our Impressions survey and usually this is quite high, the latest results show that patients and their relatives rate their care and treatment at the Trust positively at 94%.

We have just launched a “We Are Listening” campaign which is dedicated to capturing and responding to feedback from patients. It is intended to show the public that we want them to speak to us when they are not happy with any aspect of their hospital visit or they want to praise the staff they have come into contact with. It is only when this happens that we can investigate and make a change.

As the information you have provided is anonymous I would ask that you contact us either via phone 0800 028 4203 or feedback@uhcw.nhs.uk so that we can look at all the aspects you have raised in this post. In the meantime I will share you comments with all the Trust Ward Managers so that they are at least aware and can see the effect when patients and relatives are less than happy with the care a patient receives.

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