"My Husbands care in Inverclyde and Larkfield"

About: Inverclyde Royal Hospital / General Surgery Larkfield Unit

(as a relative),

After horrific side effects from a chemo drug and other complications my husband lost stones. In the first two weeks had lost three stones and still cannot walk.

The operation was four weeks ago there has been no nourishment or protein in his body for five weeks. I complained to the staff about the lack of food he was having and asked if I could see the chart with his food intake. This was in Inverclyde, I was told no chart had been kept but they would start one. I only found out about his weight loss because I asked him if they had weighed him he muttered something (he was extremely weak and could barely communicate). When I asked a nurse about the three stone losses they said I was must have got it wrong, so I asked for it to be checked I was told at that time that they can't force someone to eat.

As far as I was concerned that was like saying he would be left to die from starvation and that's when someone said it was right about the weight loss and they had notified the dietician. He was nauseous and said the food tasted like sand and he could only manage porridge and custard. I spoke to the dietician the following morning by phone and told her of my concerns she agreed to see him the next day.

When my daughter and I visited him that afternoon we asked to see the diet sheet, to see if we could help with anything on it. We could not read it and asked if the nurse would tell us what it said and she also had difficulty reading it. In the end we managed to find out he was to have two special protein soup four 50ml total. Twocal is another protein drink but not vanilla as that made him sick also four small bottles of milk.

I asked to come in at lunch to see what he was eating, they came and asked what he wanted but he couldn't stomach anything on offer and neither would I have. When I asked about the special soup and diet that was to be provided, the nurses who were helping with the meals had no idea what I was talking about. They had obviously not been told to read his notes they went off to have a look and came back and offered the soup. If I hadn't been there he would have been left to starve. He was given the large bottle of twocal in vanilla and when I asked why he wasn't given the milk he was supposed to have I was told he has to ask for it as they didn't know what he was to have. I told them I wanted the milk put on his tray whether he asks for it or not.

I spoke to the dietician and asked what sense there was in her making a chart and no one paying the least bit of attention to it, things did not improve he is so week he can barely walk. So on being told he was to be moved to the Larkfield Unit for intense physio we thought there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. Nope, no intense physio up for a walk once a day, as they have 29 patients they can't give him two walks a day. They don't work the weekend and are off at Bank Holiday. Why do they not have cover for the weekend, as far as I'm concerned the progress made during the week is lost as three days have passed and he needs two people to get him out of bed so they say they don't have the staff to deal with it, after the walk he is then left to sit on a chair. Due to my husband's condition his body and bones ache.

I was only told tonight by someone that he had been left sitting on a chair for more than two hours and had pleaded to be allowed to get put back to bed but was told he would have to sit there as they hadn't time to do it. I am raging mad and will be looking for answers tomorrow he has now been in this unit for over a week and another dietician has been called in.

Two of the nurses can't make out what is written, why they can’t type it or write in block capitals. I was also told by a nurse he had eaten two sandwiches and toast, when I queried this I was assured he had and I knew this was wrong as he couldn't eat any bread. I was also told he said he would like me to bring up a breast of chicken this was also wrong as the chicken has to be with roast and mash potatoes and loads of veg. I knew these were either wrong or they're mixing the patients information up.

This is beginning to read like a comedy sketch so I will not be taking this anymore. The patients illnesses do not take a break so why are they left with no treatment at weekends and why are more staff not employed. The Scottish Parliament is going to be informed about the lack of staff and care in this centre.

I would also like to comment on what someone else reported about Larkfield that is when they do get to answer the buzzers which can take quite a while. They say they will be back in a few minutes and they don't appear for up to an hour, and their answers are they are very short staffed.

Who then is in charge of staffing in a unit such as this where bedridden patients need to be treated with dignity and respect and not left in fear of soiling themselves? There are a few really caring members of staff but they should not be put upon by ones who have no compassion and clearly should look to another profession. This report had better not have repercussions for my husband as they are taking on the wrong person.

What I would really like to happen is that the administrators are shown my posts as I can't see what good it is in showing it to staff when they clearly can't do anything about it as the staffing levels are the responsibility of the Admin and I'm sure they are well aware of the problems in this Unit. and until they start to show they are genuine about patients welfare and not money nothing will ever change.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to provide your very feedback.

I am sorry that this posting was not acknowledged at the time, we had a break in our use of Patient Opinion, but we have now resumed doing so, and I thought it was still important to acknowledge your posting.

You raised a number of issues that are of concern and we would like to follow these up if we are can. In order to do so, can you please provide further details and send these to complaints@ggc.scot.nhs.uk and we will address these for you.


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