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elderly in hospital

(337 Posts)
mamanC Thu 26-May-11 20:39:32

I have spent today full of anger and frustration after hearing the news of the publication of reports on the appalling treatment of the elderly in far too many NHS hospitals.

If you have never experienced such "care" can and wonder if it's all being exaggerated, can I assure you that, after 8 years negotiating the whole system of elderly care both in hospital and in Care Homes when my mother began her nightmare decline,that I witnessed first-hand what the reports are telling us now. And boy are those reports telling the truth.

I swore I would try to do something to alert people to it all after my mother died in 2006, but in fact I just turned my face to the wall I think, emotionally worn out by it all and so utterly saddened by the callousness and cruelty I witnessed.

But it suddenly occured to me today that gransnet might be just the place to ask everyone to bang the drum so loudly that we stop what is happening and offer our voice in support of those good people who work in hospitals and care homes who are trying against the odds to improve matters.Mind, if one more "manager" spouts about "issues to be adressed" and "systems are in place" I shall scream. And if anyone visiting these places notices anything which makes them feel uncomfortable, please drop the polite English demeanour and speak up.

jeni Sun 09-Dec-12 18:24:53

They reckoned I could cope on my own being in plaster and no weight bearing. Fortunately I have the knowledge and facilities to organise paid help for myself!
But what would have happened if I hadn't? My GP didn't even bother to call or phone!

annodomini Sun 09-Dec-12 18:46:04

It's not just a modern trend. In 1975 I brought a 2-year-old with a temporary colostomy home from hospital. Did I get a visit from a doctor or a district nurse? What do you think?

Greatnan Sun 09-Dec-12 19:44:14

You can lodge a complaint against a medical professional up to three years from the time the adverse outcome became apparent, which could be several years later. This applies whether the treatment was NHS or private.
And I can tell you that you enter a nightmare world of delays, lies and secret filming. The Medical Defence Union dragged out my daughter's case for seven years and finally settled out of court one week before the trial date was set. The surgeon had admitted liability seventeen months after the operation, so the only dispute was about the extent of her injuries.

FlicketyB Mon 10-Dec-12 16:39:06

I did take Social Services through the complaints procedure over the way they handled the whole period from my aunt's stroke until she and her husband were admitted into a care home, mainly because I and another relative who was a hospital consultant warned the hospital and Social Services in advance that what did happen when she was discharged would happen. I went through several levels of complaining but knew that the best I could hope for would be an expression of regret and the great let out mantra 'Lessons will be learnt' but stopped when I had caused them about 10 per cent of the hassle they caused me mainly because I realised that evry £ spent dealing with my complaint was a £ not spent on caring for people who needed care.

JessM Mon 28-Oct-13 16:46:21

Reviving this thread in light of Ann Clwyd's report today. Sounds like she has been making some headway. She was on radio 4 World at One earlier if anyone wants to listen

Mishap Mon 28-Oct-13 17:57:23

After my father died and when the dust had settled a bit, I did make a complaint to the hospital where they failed to diagnose two infections and allowed him to fall twice, the second time resulting in a fractured hip that required surgery. This was basically a terminal event as he never fully recovered from the surgery and died slowly over the next few months.

They replied that they were starting an investigation and would get back to me by a certain date, which, to my amazement, they did! There do seem to have been some good results, including changes of policies and the employment of a nurse whose job is to go round the hospital checking on the strategies for falls prevention and also providing training and recommending equipment. So....a result!

I do not know whether to start the process in my local hospital, where I received very poor treatment for a broken foot - not only did they miss one of the two fracture, but that fracture is malunited and I still cannot walk without crutches after year. The fact that I was in plaster for 17 weeks has caused all manner of problems, including the joint that is now misaligned. I am to have surgery in a specialist orthopaedic unit some miles away from my home.

The original hospital's foot specialist could not even see the second fracture at all! - I have been shown this fracture on the scans and it is perfectly clear. The biggest problem was that none of the doctors would listen to me - when I said it was so painful to walk I was told that it was "just where the plaster had been." I knew this was rubbish, but could not get anyone to listen.

annodomini Mon 28-Oct-13 18:16:30

Mishap, if patients don't complain, the hospital won't have the incentive to make the necessary improvements.

JessM Mon 28-Oct-13 18:42:35

Maybe doctor needs eyes tested - but if no complaint then may carry on thinking they can see!

Stansgran Tue 29-Oct-13 06:44:19

The results of an X-Ray tend to be only as clear as the eyesight and experience of the radiologist who reports on them. It is a brave patient who asks for them to be reviewed.

Mishap Tue 29-Oct-13 09:29:53

Yes Stansgran - it is interesting that when I looked my problem up on the net afterwards (as you do) there were endless references to the fact that the second fracture I had is "easily missed", "can cause long term problems if overlooked" and that radiologists need to be "vigilant" to spot this when presented with an injury like mine. So clearly the radiologist who looked at mine had not been on the net!!

But worse still the so-called foot specialist in my home hospital could not identify it on both CT and MRI scans, in spite of the fact that another local consultant had seen it and reported on it.

We are in their hands and can do so little - we just have to trust that they know what they are doing.

nicolegold20 Sat 26-Apr-14 07:53:13

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