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Are my hospital expectations too high?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by flossielime, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. flossielime

    flossielime Registered User

    May 8, 2014
    201
    My dad is hospital with a broken leg (broken ribs and other injuries) and moderate AD.He keeps forgetting he has a broken leg and trying to get up. This is going to be a long one as it as much about getting it off my chest as wondering if I expect too much.

    He was in first hospital where I felt the care was great. He was then moved to a hospital nearer home and these are the issues I have had:

    On arrival at new hospital ward a staff nurse did not come to greet us. A care assistant came over and had no idea what has injuries were and that he had AD. She removed the footrest letting my dads leg drop to which he screeched in pain. The student nurse that had accompanied the ambulance from the first hospital suggested that the staff nurse came over as she was not sure how my dad should transfer from the chair to bed.

    The staff nurse (I felt reluctantly) came over and started asking the student nurse if she was related to someone she knew, just ignoring my dad and I.

    She then said they had no handling information from hospital one. I stated at hospital one he was 'one to one' as he he tries to move so is a fall risk. They said this was not the case and they would not do this as they did not have staff.

    On getting home I called hospital one that told me they had given the new hospital all the information and new hospital was aware he needed one to one monitoring.

    In the morning I went in with clean clothes for him - he was crying (first time I have ever seen him cry) because he had been asking for the toilet and staff had ignores him, Staff were in the bay but were not responding to him.

    They were still saying he did not need one to one care. I then called about something else later in the day and was told he had fallen 'again'. When I said again they then denied a previous fall. I then demanded one to one support. Eventually after calls to Ward manager, matron and patient experience team he now has one to one monitoring.

    So I thought all was going well -

    But turn up tonight to find him dressed in a pj bottoms and a body warmer - nothing underneath. I had took the body warmer in, in case the ward was cold BUT he had several pairs of PJs in his draw.

    I got him to take the body warmer off and put the PJ top on and he stunk on BO.

    I told his staff nurse that I was surprised he not been dressed appropriately or washed. She said that the ward was very busy and not everyone could be showered. She then went on to say dad would change for me but was not complaint with staff there and his behavior was difficult to manage. He is difficult to manage in that he forgets he has a broken leg BUT is is the most polite and co-operative man ever. He had carers at home who all love him and say how good natured he is. At hospital one staff also said he was really friendly and co-operative.

    So that leaves me with the question is expecting my dad to be clean, appropriately dressed, safe from falling expecting too much? I dont think these are big things they seem so basic.

    My dad has had the most amazing care -ambulance, scans, x- rays and operation (which sounded quite technical - plate and rods in leg) within hours of an accident. The very best of the NHS. It must have cost the NHS a fortune but the basic washing and watching seems to be a struggle. I just dont get it.
     
  2. Lo33yb

    Lo33yb Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    4
    high expectations

    Your expectations are not too high at all. Everyone is entitled to be treated decently and have their dignity preserve. It sounds like you are doing your best for your dad and you should be able to leave the hospital safe in the knowledge that he is being cared for. Perhaps you should make a formal complaint to see if anything can be done. Goodness knows you don't need to be worrying when you get home. Good luck.
     
  3. Adcat

    Adcat Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    290
    London
    Look up Nicky Gerrard, John's story in the Guardian or on Google. She is trying to raise awareness of the needs of dementia patients in hospital. I don't know how to copy the link.
     
  4. 99purdy

    99purdy Registered User

    Oct 31, 2014
    129
    Don't think for one minute your expectations are too high. I think that a lot of hospital wards are very understaffed you are quite right to voice your concerns. Sending my best wishes and hope your Dad receives the care he deserves. X
     
  5. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    182
    You need to keep a journal (ie every day) of telephone calls, the reason for them, the replies and the same for your visits, what condition he was in, etc. Any information you are given regarding your dad try to get it in writing. It's all proof in case you need it later. Good luck, x
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,557
    Female
    South coast
    Is this a rehab hospital? It sounds to me like they have no idea about how to deal with a patient with dementia. They need dementia awareness training.
     
  7. flossielime

    flossielime Registered User

    May 8, 2014
    201
    No, not a rehab place it is an orthopaedic ward in a general hospital. It some to be mostly older patients, but not all. He was transferred there from a regional major trauma unit. The care in the major trauma unit was excellent, I couldn't fault it at all. All the issues have began to arise since he went to local hospital. I be got a meeting today with the ward and social worker. I think they want to move him to a special dementia ward. I not sure if that is a good thing or not. I am just going to try and keep an open mind and listen to what they say.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  8. Mrs C

    Mrs C Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    4
    scotland
    this the link for Jon,s story http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/29/nicci-ge

    Hi sent you the link . I think the most important thing is you and family members can spend as much time you feel that is required to help look after your loved one.
    There should be no reason for this not to be allowed as it would take pressure off nursing staff.
    Also your loved one will know that you are there and feel more secure.
     
  9. flossielime

    flossielime Registered User

    May 8, 2014
    201
    If only, I have 2 children age 7 and 5 off school this week. My mum is in a nursing home and brother lives abroad. I am the main carer for my mother in law who lives at home with heart failure and dementia. Plus husband and I both work (he works shifts). I need the professionals to do their jobs I can't physically do any more than I already am. Flexible visiting would help and is not allowed but I couldn't actually do more time.



    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  10. mrsted

    mrsted Registered User

    Sep 18, 2012
    39
    leicestershire
    #10 mrsted, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
    Hi flossielime please do not think your expectations are too high as I work within the NHS and this is not at all acceptable. Should you not get any joy from the ward manager / patient experience then please feel free to ask to speak to the on call director. This is a basic human right to be cared for and after all the recent reports, Care and compassion are right at the top of hospital lists. The staff should be ashamed of themselves no matter how busy as the basics of Nursing are Care and Compassion. In fact most trusts now work to the 6 C's (link to the reference) http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/6c-a5-leaflet.pdf Please do not think you are moaning, get in touch and shout if you have to and take your complaint as high as you can to get this resolved.
    Here if I can help any further

    K
    xx
     
  11. flossielime

    flossielime Registered User

    May 8, 2014
    201
    Many thanks. I think I may well complain to someone tomorrow, if things do not improve.

    I have had a meeting today with a OT, Physio and SW. The ward was too short staffed for a nurse to attend. All those attending were lovely and really helpful.

    We spent best part of an hour discussing his next move. The OT mentioned my dad may have had an infection in one of his surgery wounds. I had been told a few days ago that there was some suspicion of infection, but as the dressing was now off and it had not bee mentioned i assumed this was not infected. Last night I mentioned to the staff nurse (who said my dad was non compliant with staff) that my dad was complaining about the wound and kept touching it and i wondered if it might be better with a dressing on. She spoke to like I was an idiot saying we cant put a dressing on when there is nothing there and that him touching and scratching the wound was not a problem.

    Any way at the meeting decided the best move was for him to go to the dementia ward as a interim step. As i was leaving the hospital (2 mins later) I thought I should have said for them to ring me when they are moving him so could be there to ease his confusion.so I called the ward from the corridor

    The person i spoke to answered the phone and said 'Sister', so was presumably in charge. She said they were too busy to fit around me and that he would be transferred when was convenient to them and that me being there would make no difference as i was not with him all the time anyway. She then went on to say that he wouldn't be moving anyway as he was having IV antibiotics for his infection. The tone she spoke was not pleasant. Throughout this whole time at the local hospital I have been made to feel like my dad and I are inconveniences.

    So it would seem that the SW, physio and OT and I had all wasted our time as the Sister already knew he could not be moved due to the infection.
     
  12. Adcat

    Adcat Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    290
    London
    Shocking. Complain immediately to the director of nursing at that hospital. Go via switchboard. Don't delay
     
  13. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    806
    North East
    I'm guessing that the nurses in this ward have for some reason taken against you. Yes they are stressed out but there really is no way they should behave like this. It sounds to me that you weren't happy so talked to them about it, it continued so you went over their heads!!! Well why on earth wouldn't you? I would ask to speak to the Matron again and say this. Say that you are being made to feel like a nuisance and when you are being spoken to by the sister of the ward, she spoke to you as if you were and idiot. Tell her that your dad is a vulnerable gentleman who needs care and you don't feel he is getting it. You appreciate this is an NHS hospital and that resources are limited but it's not that that is the problem. It seems to be a lack of care and courtesy from certain individual staff.
    I am absolutely furious on your behalf. I can't bare it when people are treated badly like this in any circumstances but least of all in a hospital by qualified nurses.
    I really hope this gets sorted out soon for you and most importantly, your dad gets better soon.
     
  14. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    This is quite disgraceful. The new code of nursing practice is not being adhered to here. Look at this link

    http://www.nmc-uk.org/Documents/NMC-Publications/NMC-Code-A5-FINAL.pdf

    I would write, naming names, to the head of the orthopaedic nursing in that hospital and ask for your comments about the nurses to be used in their revalidation fitness to practice appraisal. You could also say that you are considering complaining to the nursing and midwifery council about them. That should put the fear of god into them. It's the new way nurses are kept on the register, there is emphasis on taking notice of feedback from patients and the public. It comes into force later this year and we are all anxious about it!
     
  15. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    It is disgraceful and far too common.

    Mam had similar dismissive treatment when she was hospitalised, great treatment on the cardiac unit, abysmal treatment on the ward she was shunted to.

    Off hand Staff nurses and Sisters that try their best to grind you down, probably because they feel ground down.
    I encounter it every time my adult disabled son is in hospital.

    The sheer joy when you finally encounter a 'good' member of staff, sometimes more empathy can be found in hospital porters and cleaners than in health 'care' professionals.

    Don't be ground down. Stand your ground.

    Keeping your temper is vital, it can be hard to do but you really must struggle to say what need to say as calmly and firmly as possible.

    Don't allow them to put you off, the Matron is a good port of call but I always inform the person that is Bull-******** me that I am not happy with what they've said and I will find out how I can find a resolution to my worries.
    Invariably they find solutions before I need to take further steps.

    It's soul-destroying, energy sapping and makes one dread any need for hospitalisation on a level that ought not be even considered when the primary worry is the health and welfare of your loved one.

    Rattle their cages with calm determination.
    It always wins.

    Hope your Dad recovers well in spite of all this upset. Best wishes.
     
  16. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,557
    Female
    South coast
    Put your complaint in writing, not on the phone, so you cant be fobbed off.
    Have you contacted PALS? Thats often a good place to start.
     
  17. mrsted

    mrsted Registered User

    Sep 18, 2012
    39
    leicestershire
    Please do not put up with this any longer as this is not at all acceptable. After being treated this way I would honestly ask to speak to the Director on Call as it appears that all your concerns have not been addressed and I do not care how short staffed they are care and compassion should be paramount.
    Staff who I work with understand how important families are in the care for patients especially in working out a care plan which suits all.
    Message me if I may help any further
    K
    xx
     
  18. flossielime

    flossielime Registered User

    May 8, 2014
    201
    Thanks everyone. It all got worse. I went back at evening visiting time to find my dad gone. He had moved to the dementia ward. I went to the dementia ward. I was greeted by the sister ( very pleasant and nice) who said my dad had just had a fall. My dad was lying in bed with his face crumpled in agony. The doctor was with him and appeared to have been a while. She asked what his mobility was normally like and I said well really good until he broke his leg. And she was 'oh he has a broken leg - so is that why he uses a zimmer?' as if this was the first she knew of this. The ward said they wernt told he was a fall risk, just that he needed watching at night as he tried to get out of bed!!! My dad is lay there saying I just want to die the pain is too much. And that he wishes had been killed when the car hit him. He has never said anything like that before. He has a bright disposition usually. He was so confused and upset.

    Apparently he does not need the IV antibiotics now. I wonder on what criteria that was based. I suspect on the we can get rid of him if he just has oral ones criteria.

    I letter has been written. 4 pages I am going to go the hospital as soon as my husband, gets back from work to mind the kids with it and asked give it personally the the director on call. Does that sound like a reasonable thing to do or should I just give it in at pals office?


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  19. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    Oh Dear! What a terrible time you and your Dad are going through. Personally I would give a copy to PALS and the Director.

    You must be exhausted. Sending best wishes that your Dad is not in such bad pain.

    Lyn T XX
     
  20. Quizbunny

    Quizbunny Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011
    90
    I would be inclined to go straight to the top with my concerns. Please don't allow yourself to be fobbed off. If you feel that this is happening make them aware that your next stop will be the local newspaper as your father does not have the luxury of waiting until they have pushed your complaint from department to department.

    I work within the NHS and there are a lot of caring, professional nurses out there, unfortunately there are some shocking examples too. I wish you well.
     

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