Mum STILL in hospital

sheila d

Registered User
Dec 8, 2007
I first posted here at the beginning of December, when mum was admitted as an acute admission with obsessional behaviour.
Well she is still in hospital and things have hardly progressed.

We were originally told that a psychiatrist was coming to see her on 8th Jan ,but then this week, he refused to come as, although she lives in his area, she was admitted to a hospital outside his area ( albeit the two hospitals are only 3 miles apart). Then we find that there is actually a psychiatrist based on the floor below her in hospital, but he wouldn't see her as she lives outside his area ( by 250 meters!!)

Well as you can imagine I went ballistic at this and contacted the patient advisory service with a formal complaint and surprise surprise, the psychiatrist has now agreed to walk up a flight of stairs to see her on Friday. This has taken 5 weeks, what a waste of time, and still no idea of a preliminary diagnosis

I then asked for a meeting with the ward manager, regarding other aspects of her treatment.

I asked about the mini mental health examination and learnt that it had been requested on admission, but no-one had actually carried it out. It was agreed that this was an oversight

Mum is in a rehab hospital yet has lost her walking ability, so I queried how much physio she has been getiing, the answer was 2 visits in 7 days. This has been increased to daily visits now.

Mum has developed a chest infection and is on a nebuliser, with an oxygen tank and an iv drip for anti-biotics. It took 3 days of me complaining about her breathlessness before the hospital took a sample and confirmed a hospital acquired chest infection.

Today I learn that the adjacent ward has been closed with an outbreak of norovirus, please let it be contained.

It has taken a week of vociferous complaining by her family to give mum a voice, I just wonder what happens to those people without a family to fight for them ?

( Oh and the lady in the adjacemt bed now has a broken collar bone - she called and called for a nurse to take her to the toilet and eventually tried to get up herself and fell - the third fall on the ward in the last 2 days. )

Sorry for the rant, but it feels better now!


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Dear Sheila,

You take my breath away with your post! I know that the hospital situations are bad everywhere but every time I read such a post on TP I get another shock at how truly AWFUL the system can be! :eek:

Thank goodness your Mum has you and her family to "fight the good fight" for her, and Heaven help those who do not have this support.

One wonders how much of the health budgets of our countries are wasted by such incompetence??????? After all, it costs money to keep someone in hospital for 5 weeks. You'd think they would want to find out what is wrong, give her the help she needs, and discharge her. . . . . ??

The falls sound as if they are "neglect". . . .I wonder if the lady in the next bed has a family who could seek reparations for her??

Sadly, the Australian health system is also beset by similar problems. We are all pinning our hopes on the new government (Labor after 12 years of Liberal) - but I'm sceptical that anything will change much.

I do sincerely hope you get some answers and some help for your poor Mum soon. Sending you every caring wish.


Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
sheila d said:
It has taken a week of vociferous complaining by her family to give mum a voice, I just wonder what happens to those people without a family to fight for them ?
Your mum is fortunate that she has a family who care about her, and her well being. I often wonder the same these people fare who have no one standing by them.

The psychiatrist scenario...beggars belief. One has to wonder if competence even exists these days.

I hope that your mum's chest infection responds to the medication and that the physio is very beneficial for her.

Fingers crossed the virus is contained, your mum has had to endure enough....along, with yourself.

With all that's gone on, your entitled to rant... I am glad that you feel better for it.

Take Care, Taffy.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Dear Sheila

Your story is appalling! There's absolutely no excuse for your mum to be neglected in this way. Thank goodness you were able to to contact PALS and get some action.

I do hope the chest infection clears, and all the other nasty bugs stay away. Hospitals are supposed to make you better, not worse.

Well done for getting some action.



Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
Dear Sheila

Your story appalls me but unfortunately I find it all too beleivable. Themedical profession seems to write off those with dementia. It is a strong bastion of ageism unfortunately!

I too worry about this without caring relatives in this current uncaring system.

Keep Strong


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
From reading all these horror stories and having one of my own with my mother, I too believe that because dementia is incurable, there is little respect for the quality of life or the quality of treatment for those we care for.

We can only make our voices heard by publicising these incidents to the hospital trusts and the law and policy makers.


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
My heart goes out to you in your fight to get the care and treatment which is your mother's right! I do echo what has been said. Hospital psychiatrist must be held accountable for professional responsibility which comes along with the high salaries they are paid. We must stand up and complain loudly when these terrible things are happening to the ones we love. I hope that the situation has improved for you but you must be left feeling so upset, mistrustful and unhappy. TinaT