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To think that a hospital could provide wound dressings to a dying woman without making her feel like shit.

(37 Posts)
nemno Tue 20-Nov-12 12:20:43

I am so cross. My mum has terminal cancer and this morning she went for her second, palliative radiation session on 2 open wounds (her first was yesterday). The local GP surgery dresses these wounds 3 times weekly, these are not minor. My mum thought to take spare inner dressing material with her this morning but she did not expect that the wounds would have been so affected by yesterday's treatment that they had oozed through to the outer dressings. The radiotherapy staff were cross with her as they do not have a bit of gauze and tape to provide to her. My poor mum, they made her feel dreadful. I could weep for her.

I know the NHS is strapped for cash but these dressings are paid for by the NHS anyway (different budget bit though , GP one). Honestly a hospital department cannot provide a fresh square of gauze? And be kind about whether they do or not?

saintlyjimjams Tue 20-Nov-12 12:24:14

sad that's awful, your poor mum.

Does she have a district nurse visiting? It might be worth asking them about dressings so they can make sure she always has enough.

Catsdontcare Tue 20-Nov-12 12:25:43

That's awful I would complain

Adversecamber Tue 20-Nov-12 12:25:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

auntmargaret Tue 20-Nov-12 12:26:30

Couldn't read and run without sending you hugs. We have just been through the same with my beloved sister. So many staff seem lacking in basic kindness, your poor mum. I got fed up of nurses showing up with no basic nursing supplies then making me feel bad that I didn't have them on tap. Me and my sister just laughed about it after they left (and once I'd let off some steam) Stay strong for your mum, don't let anyone make her feel bad.

mignonette Tue 20-Nov-12 12:28:20

I remember doing a student placement on a medical ward where one of the nurses upon changing a pressure wound dressing remarked to me 'This smells worse than my cat's litter tray'

I am so sorry, OP. There are some total bitches working in health and social care.

Please complain. Or things will stand even less chance of changing. I did and my placement was terminated by the Sister!

EasilyBored Tue 20-Nov-12 12:29:09

I'm sorry OP, your poor mum. Maybe speak to PALS and make a complaint? They should not have treated her like that. x

mignonette Tue 20-Nov-12 12:29:22

Or take the staff member aside and tell her/him privately how hurtful and insensitive their comments came across as.

VestaCurry Tue 20-Nov-12 12:31:10


ChippingInLovesAutumn Tue 20-Nov-12 12:33:07

Your poor Mum sad

Please complain, your Mum doesn't need to go through that again and nor does anyone else!

<Big Hugs - for you and your Mum, it's really really hard living with TC>

kiwigirl42 Tue 20-Nov-12 12:33:07

You need to ring and speak to PALS and let them know. Its unacceptable and cruel. I really wonder why some people bother working in health care when its obvious they don't like people

Fakebook Tue 20-Nov-12 12:33:30

sad That's terrible. Yanbu, and I'd expect staff dealing with terminally ill patients to be more sympathetic and kind. I'd definitely complain.

HeathRobinson Tue 20-Nov-12 12:36:06

You'd think the staff would know what effect the treatment has, and have dressings in accordingly.

cozietoesie Tue 20-Nov-12 12:38:47

I would generally expect a hospital to have wound dressings in anyway, Heath. Somewhere reachable.

Your poor mom, OP. As someone else said - laugh about it with her as best you can.

nemno Tue 20-Nov-12 12:39:44

Thank you everyone, I know many people are very kind and it's the horrid ones that have the most impact at times.

We do have enough dressings at home but just did not think about abnormal needs.

I wasn't there unfortunately, my mum and dad aren't the sort to make a fuss. I will be there for the rest of the week's treatments and I won't let this happen unchallenged (bit late for this issue and the damage is done ).

Lilylightfoot Tue 20-Nov-12 12:40:02

Your poor Mun thanks Please ring PALS

SoleSource Tue 20-Nov-12 12:42:21

This kind of stinking attitude is common amongst tbe caring professional, IME sad I think the NHS are failing patients via hiring not very caring people. More bad experiences than good here I am afraid and I am easily pleased.

Leverette Tue 20-Nov-12 12:55:30

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pinkforever Tue 20-Nov-12 12:55:33

Sadly I have witnessed a similar situation. I had cancer a few years back and the women in the next bed to me was in severe pain following radiation therapy. She was asking the nurses of they could change her dressings as were leaking and they said no because they had none left. The poor women was moaning and groaning in pain all night. The memory of this has never left me.

I am sorry for your mum and I would make a complaint too.

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 12:59:30

god that's awful I am sorry sad

I was in the orthopaedic clinic some months ago and a girl with a broken arm was sent home and asked to come back the day after as they had ran out of plaster and i thought that was bad.

Lots of love to you and your mum x

Northernlurker Tue 20-Nov-12 12:59:40

It's reasonable imo that the department did not have the dressings in stock. If it's not something they use often there is no point keeping a stock. But what they should have done - and what we do in our area - is that if somebody needs something you GO AND GET IT. In your mum's case I would try the oncology ward or the surgical ward that carries out the procedures she's had. Complain - because even if there were no dressings to be had they should NOT make her feel bad. It's our failing not hers (nhs staff here)

RooneyMara Tue 20-Nov-12 13:02:19

I'm so, so sorry for you and your poor mum x

I know wounds can be unpleasant but there's no way on earth they should be making her feel responsible for this.

It's their job, FFS.

Can you have a word with anyone at the practice?

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Tue 20-Nov-12 13:05:02

sad That's awful. ^ They^ might not have had any but it's a hospital so not exactly hard to get hold of gauze hmm

Nowhere near as bad but it reminds me of the time when I wasn't given essential antibiotics because 'they aren't standard medication in the maternity unit' confused

saintlyjimjams Tue 20-Nov-12 13:20:31

solesource - my mum is a nurse and is very fed up with how patients come bottom of everything now. It's not always the staff (although in this case it absolutely was), the systems often do not consider patient care and staff are under so much pressure (and can indeed be disciplined for going out of the way to help a patient - my Mum was - although she kicked off big time about it, and did eventually get management to agree it shouldn't have been a disciplinary offence, think she eventually managed to get it removed).

Agree with those saying please complain on behalf of your mum OP.

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 13:28:30

complaining is just the last thing someone who is ill, or has an ill wants to do or even has the energy to do sad

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