how is your hospital experience

sheila d

Registered User
Dec 8, 2007
Mum has recently been moved to the local community hospital for assessment and rehabilitation. She is probably one of the most "healthy" in there, but I have been horrified at the lack of care and compassion shown by the staff.

No-one has time to spend with her and she has nothing to occupy her time. Although there is a dayroom, she hasn't been asked if she would like to be taken there in her wheelchair. So she just slumps in the chair all day, with no-one to talk to as the other patients on her bay are all very ill and bedridden.

Her hair hasn't been washed in the 2 weeks that she has been in hospital and her fingernails desperately need cutting.

I was visiting yesterday evening and at 6pm, the nurse wanted everyone in bed. Mum wasn't asked if she would like a wash first, or whether she needed to use the toilet. So she would have gone to bed worrying about having an accident in the bed.

She was obviously frightened and she was then left lying on her back, when at home she always sleeps on her one side, due to her arthritis.

I wonder is this the standard of care now provided to elderly patients, or should I be complaining ? Surely her long fingernaisl are a health risk - (she won't let me cut them as she says its not allowed )

I so want to take her out of there and back to her family, and see if the assessment can be done at home.


Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
I do remember when mum fell and was held in hospital for assessment, her hearing aid stopped working. The doctor was supposed to assess what she could do but mum could not hear the questions. There were no spare batteries on the ward, and despite promises to get some, there were still no spares when I arrived with a packet next day. Unfortunately the new batteries did not help as the hearing aid must have been damaged when mum fell.

A couple of days later the hearing aid had still not been repaired / replaced for her, so I took the hearing aid back to the NHS clinic that had supplied it to mum. I got it replaced and returned it in working condition to mum the same day. (I was happy to do this service to help mum, but so so annoyed at having to pay three lots of parking charges to the NHS for the privilege of sorting out the problem for them !!)

It could be argued that it was not up to the charge nurse to sort the hearing aid out, however this was on a ward that was supposed to be assessing mum’s ability to live on her own, and yet she could not hear what they were saying to her. (And how many other people on the ward needed hearing aid batteries and did not have a relation to provide them).

As far as I could make out mum was not getting any proper exercise on the ward and the nurses spent most of their time by a desk in a corridor. When I eventually got mum released after about two weeks she had forgotten even simple things like how to make a cup of tea.



Registered User
Jul 19, 2005
I found in hospital they sit around or wander a lot as nothing to do. I think they go down quicker in hospital. I seen it happen to a lot of them. It gets worse as well the longer they are in. Therefore a lot have to go into NH after hospital.
Some were worse than what he was to begin with but he soon became the same as them.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
I don`t really know what we can expect from hospitals in the way of stimulation. I remember being upset when my mother was in with shingles. She was left in a side ward, in a cot, with nothing to do and no-one seeming to care.

But when I`ve been in hospital, I`ve only ever received meducal or physio treatment from the staff, nothing extra. Is it their brief to attend to patients in any other way .

In hospital, I read, knitted, listened to the radio, watched television and waited for my visitors.

If your mother is in hosptal for assessment and rehabilitation. Sheila, I imagine there are set times during the day when she receives this care, but they will only be for set periods.

I`m not doubting for a minute how distressing it must be for you to see your mother seeming to be so lost, alone and neglected. Has anyone given you a programme or timetable showing her treatment? Perhaps if they did it might give you an idea of the quality of her care. I would be inclined to ask how her assessment and rehabilitation is conducted.


Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
Hello Sheila

We found that the supposed rehab consisted of about 5 minutes per day with a physio if Mum was lucky ! I've posted quite a few times about our Mums terrible experiences in hospital so won't go into again - suffice to say that in my opinion she came out far worse than she went in. Have to say now that a great deal of TLC on return her CH has done wonders for her .

Not sure if it works the same in your neck of the woods as it does in ours - but if possible I would get your Mum out asap and have the Occupational Therapists and Physios visit at home.

There is supposed to be a published discharge process for each hospital - if you are able you need to attend the discharge meeting and insist on therapy continuing (or starting) at home.


sheila d

Registered User
Dec 8, 2007
re getting her out

I have wondered about getting her discharged and assessment carried out at home. But I wonder whether that might be the wrong thing to do in terms of the financial side and also getting all the help needed.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Shiela

I haven't posted before, because I haven't any real complaints about John's stay in hospital, and I've written about it elsewhere

I don't think you should discharge your mum without a full assessment. If things were to go wrong, you wouldn't have any comeback.

Before your mum is discharged, you should demend a full multi-disciplinary assessment, and you should demand to be present. That is your right.

They should then draw up a full discharge care plan for your mum before she either comes home or goes into a NH. Either way, make sure this is done, and everyone knows what is to happen.

Regarding your complaints, you should ask for an appointment to see the consultant, and discuss what you would like to see done for your mum -- not as complaints in the first instance, just saying what you would like.

An alternative approach is to make friends with the ward sister/charge nurse. They have more control over what actually happens on the ward, and if you can get on the right side of them, things may improve for your mum.

I'm sorry you're having this bad experience, it must be so difficult for you, seeing your mum neglected in this way. But please don't jump without having a care plan in place.

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Phew. All get your relatives to the Cavendish Hospital in Buxton, Derbyshire, cos the staff there are absolute stars. No-one is bored, everyone is stimulated, there are adeqaute numbers of staff to deal with everyone, everyone has personal attention, all staff are caring, I cannot recommend it enough. I sent a message to their manager saying so (never got a reply from him).

I am so, so sad that some of you have had such bad experiences.

There are good wards out there, hope you all find them.

Much love