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To be disgusted about the treatment of elderly in hospital?

(187 Posts)
happilyeverafta Thu 02-Nov-17 09:13:44

I’m currently in hospital and on a orthopedic ward where I’m the only patient under 70 (I believe, I’m 35)

The 5 elderly ladies here have varying degrees of ‘illness’ and as far as I can tell none are suffering from dementia just poorly ladies, bless them.

I arrived here last night and the welcome I received was as if David Beckham (insert other celeb crush if required) had walked into the ward swinging his todger around - they were all saying how great it was to have a ‘youngster’ for once. They also added I wasn’t likely to moan or ask for stuff....

The lady in the bed next to me has horrific facial injuries and covered in bruises. She’s 82. She started chatting to me and we had a lovely conversation (I will admit now I’m a sucker for a Nan type figure!). She’s clearly very sore and scared, nurses told me she’d been beaten up in her own home and thrown down the stairs and “to watch out as she screams out in the night due to be scared/nightmares” all days whilst rolling their eyes at me.

Last night she asked for some water and the nurse shouted at her that “you have half a cup we are busy so stop mythering” she explained Ste was very thirsty. In the end I gave her my hug as she was getting distressed.

This morning she was asleep as the nurses arrived on shift - they came in and shook her & shouted to wake her which frightened her she started crying, I then witnessed them rolling their eyes st her talking about her to each other in front of her abs laughing at her, the whole time she is looking at me saying “I think they think I can’t hear or understand them”

They then got her dressed and she was in pain and asking them to be a bit gentler they came from behind the curtain stating she’d made “another Oscar winning performance” and huffing and puffing. Insinuating she’s making it all up.

They then chat to each other in the middle of the ward about how she’s getting worse, clearly has woke up in a mood etc etc.

Aibu or is this how bad the NHS is now with the treatment of patients?! I’m sat here upset and shocked - I’ve not had any obs done or had anyone come to check on me. To be fair I’m ‘OK’ compared to these ladies but they seem so stretched for staff (1 nurse abs about 3 HCA) that the basic level of care and compassion has gone? Or is this how it is on an orthopedic ward?

happilyeverafta Thu 02-Nov-17 09:16:10

Please excuse the typos shock clearly my meds are effecting me.

AnaWinter Thu 02-Nov-17 09:17:47

That sounds like abuse. I would call the non-emergency police number and report.

ssd Thu 02-Nov-17 09:18:11

awful awful awful

my mum kept this in her purse, it was printed in a newspaper, I found it after she'd died

www.carepathways.com/anoldladyspoem.cfm

its a poem, print it out and take it in next time you visit

Anecdoche Thu 02-Nov-17 09:21:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OnASummersDay Thu 02-Nov-17 09:22:34

Please report this. How horrible. Does the lady get any visitors that you can inform about this?

I would hate to think that any of my grandparents were being treated this way.

PoisonousSmurf Thu 02-Nov-17 09:24:47

You need to report this. Problem is to who? Is there anyway you can get evidence? Record what they say on your phone?
I would do it before you get discharged. But on your last evening there tell them what you think of them and say that you will be reporting them.
Don't do it too early or they may do nasty things to you too sad

FadedRed Thu 02-Nov-17 09:27:12

If you feel up to it, ask to speek to the ward manager or Matron.
Or you could tell PALS , who will report it back to the ward management.

DixieNormas Thu 02-Nov-17 09:27:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Slaylormoon Thu 02-Nov-17 09:27:41

@ssd flowers a very thought provoking poem.

agedknees Thu 02-Nov-17 09:31:32

Report, report,report. I nursed for the 36 years and this treatment needs action. It’s institutionalised abuse.

Poor staffing does not excuse this. A smile costs nothing. Being gentle costs nothing.

scrabbler3 Thu 02-Nov-17 09:31:42

Agree - it's awful. Also, she shouldn't have told you how the woman came by her injuries. That's confidential, surely.

We've been lucky. My elderly parents have always been well treated in hosp. I recall lazy staff on my maternity ward many years ago - gossiping at the nursing station whilst new mothers who'd had c sections struggled to lift their babies a few feet away. They looked busy pretty sharpish when the consultant appeared though!

ShakeTheDisease Thu 02-Nov-17 09:32:40

Ring PALS in the hospital - the main switchboard number will put you through if you ask - and tell them. This is not acceptable.

hatgirl Thu 02-Nov-17 09:36:12

You can contact your local adult safeguarding team at the local authority and make a safeguarding adults report. Most authorities allow you to report online, just google 'your local council vulnerable adult safeguarding report' and it should get you somewhere near.

The hospital should also have a designated employee (often a nurse) whose sole role it is to deal with adult safeguarding issues. If you make a report to adult social care they will then pass it on to the safeguarding lead for the hospital.

happilyeverafta Thu 02-Nov-17 09:37:15

I’m glad I’m not overreacting.

I was in tears just watching them with her. Like a PP said a smile and some compassion doesn’t cost anything - she just tried to get to the loo but wasn’t able to walk steadily so I helped her as nobody went to help her. I’m in pain myself but I couldn’t watch her struggle whilst they stood round their desk!

I then got told how she’d ‘fallen out of bed previously as well’ with rolled eyes!

Why are these nurses abs HCA in this profession if they don’t give a shit or are this fed up?!

I am going to keep a note of stuff and report yes, but sure his long I’ll be here but will call the PALS or ward manager?

JE001 Thu 02-Nov-17 09:40:52

Sounds appalling, and I agree about speaking to PALS and or ward matron, if you feel up to it. There should be contact details for PALS and the complaints team on the hospital website, so you could do it remotely. Or just send an email direct to the Director of Nursing or the CEO, or both. It sounds like a serious failure in clinical leadership.

I see a lot of hospital wards through my work, and fortunately I haven't encountered anything as bad. Occasionally there are lapses in care - water left just out of reach, not clearing away meal trays in a timely way, etc - but staff are mostly very receptive to these things being pointed out. And most nursing staff get the message that doing the right thing by patients saves them time in the long run, since patients (particularly the elderly) are less demanding when they feel secure and comfortable.

Somewherethatsgreen Thu 02-Nov-17 09:41:03

This is absolutely not normal. That poor woman. Please call PALS/help her call PALS. Completely unacceptable.

MargoLovebutter Thu 02-Nov-17 09:45:08

The treatment of my Dad when he was ill in hospital was so bad, I was horrified. The stroke ward was ok, but the general geriatric ward was really, really awful. My family has two medically qualified people in it, so I appreciate the pressure that doctors and nurses are under, but OMG it was like being in a third world country.

Many of the staff were callous, that is the only way I can describe it. It was as though they really disliked the patients. Dad couldn't speak at all, because of the stroke but he could nod & shake his head to indicate yes & no but they never looked at him to see what he was doing. We found him soiled in the bed so many times. My Mum, in her 80s, used to stay with him all day long, so she could feed him, as no one did this, so he just went unfed. He was supposed to have thickened liquids to prevent choking but that wasn't done either, even though it clearly said it in huge letters on the board above his bed and on all the notes.

We did complain to the consultant but it did not help at all, it just seemed to generate resentment.

It was boiling hot, as it was in the summer, and he had septicemia, so a raging temperature. It was 38 degrees in his room. The nurses station had huge fans blowing on it but the patients had nothing. The staff didn't even pull the curtains to stop the sun blazing in. We brought a fan in from home for Dad & there was outcry, we were told it could not be allowed, must be removed etc and we had to fight to allow it and had to get the consultant to weigh in again, which seemed ridiculous given his room was 38 degrees C.

He died 4 years ago, but it still makes my blood boil when I think how he was treated. He was a lovely gentle man and had worked hard all his life, paid all his NI and tax and had never really been ill, but in the last 9 months of his life when he was ill and dying, the care was not there for him.

Dozer Thu 02-Nov-17 09:48:00

My DM, formerly a health professional, has had terrible treatment from the NHS as an inpatient and outpatient. Especially at night in hospital. The staffing levels are dangerously low, resources not there, and people working in the NHS are often under immense stress, but a minority are unkind and indeed abusive in their treatment of people.

brasty Thu 02-Nov-17 09:49:10

Awful. Sadly my mum last time she was in hospital had an NCA laugh at her and make barbed remarks, because she was reading The Guardian. He also left an elderly woman with learning difficulties in a very uncomfortable position of half slidden off her chair.

It is contempt for the elderly, and you see it on MN as well. Why not ask the local paper to do an article on what you witnessed?

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 02-Nov-17 09:50:13

That poem made me cry

brasty Thu 02-Nov-17 09:50:55

Elderly people in hospital generally get treated far worse than younger people.

hatgirl Thu 02-Nov-17 09:52:15

Examples of online reporting from a random selection of counties

www.surreycc.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/care-and-support-for-adults/raising-concerns-and-staying-safe/reporting-adult-abuse-and-help-and-advice

www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/report-abuse

www.lancashire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/safeguarding-adults.aspx

brasty Thu 02-Nov-17 09:52:16

When I was last in hospital, I ended up helping an elderly woman who had dementia. Just talking to her and comforting her. The staff totally ignored her.

icedtea Thu 02-Nov-17 09:53:22

Please report. There is far too much of this institutional abuse going on.

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