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AIBU to be questioning my Dads NHS care

9 replies

pud1 · 23/08/2015 20:28

my dad is suffering from terminal cancer of the peritoneum. this is following on from bowel cancer 2 years ago. My mum passed away from lung cancer in April and my MIL suffered a ruptured bowel and spent 12 weeks in hospital including 2 weeks in ICU and 3 weeks in HDU ( different hospital to mum and dad). I tell you this to explain that I have spent a alot of time in hospitals over the last few years and it if was not for the care of the NHS my MIL would be dead, My mum would not have died so peacefully and my Dad would also be Dead. so I am in no way NHS bashing.

to get to the point. Dad has just had a massive operation to remove part of his small bowel and fit a second stoma. he had the op on Thursday and has still been in a lot of pain over the weekend. he is on the HOBS ward which I assume stands for high observation. a few thing have happened whilst I have been visiting that have bothered me.

  1. the VAC SAC machine ( I think that's what its called) that is at his bed side had yellow gunk in the tube and at the end of it. I asked dad if they had used it on him and he said no. surely this should have been cleaned.

2. there is no auxiliary staff on the ward at all. there was 2 nurses to 14 patients. all the patients were on drips, oxygen, morphine..... it felt like there was no personal care. I had to wash Dad, sort his surgical socks out and get him water.

3. (the one that worries me most) as I was sat there the nurse changed his fluids drip. when she had gone I notices it leaking. it had a small pin prick in it and was leaking out on to the drip machine and the floor. by the time I had noticed and got a nurse it had broken his morphine machine. it took 1.5 hours for an anesthetist to sort it out in which time his pain was increasing. all that was done about the leaking drip was it was emptied out in a sink and chucked away. I did not question it but surely after the recent cases at Stepping Hill hospital it should have been checked or am I over reacting an this is a regular occurrence.

so have I got reason to be concerned.
OP posts:

NCISaddict · 23/08/2015 20:40

I don't think you would be unreasonable to raise the first point, not sure what you mean (I'm not a nurse) but assume it's the suction machine and the tubing for that should be disposable, possibly with the limited staff it has just been forgotten, not good but understandable.
The lack of staff is awful and those two nurses must be under a huge amount of pressure and would probably be glad if you raised it as a concern.
The drip leaking, was it a small hole in the bag of fluids? These things do happen just as anything can fail/have a fault in it. I would expect them to make a note of the fault somewhere but it may not be in a record to which you have access. I wouldn't immediately assume it is due to something sinister.

I hope someone is looking after you, you sound like you're having a rough time. Flowers


letmehaveyoursoul · 23/08/2015 20:49

YANBU although no 2 seems increasingly common - I'd speak to his named nurse about it all and if no joy then pals.


letmehaveyoursoul · 23/08/2015 20:50

alsoThanks for you. hope you're OK


pud1 · 23/08/2015 21:04

Thanks. it has been tough for a while. I have been visiting Dad every weekend. its a 120 mile trip and I have been taking OH 2 x DDs and the dog so it is taking its toll. I am in the process of trying to get my dad sheltered housing near me but its a long process

OP posts:

LazyLohan · 23/08/2015 21:13

I have worked in the NHS and it has amazing bits but also very poor bits. The poor bits don't improve unless problems are raised. Often these are things that frontline staff are raising but struggling to have recognised, so you are supporting those staff by raising it so don't feel guilty.

The things you have mentioned are definitely, definitely things which should be raised with PALS and perhaps an official complaint. The leaking drip with a hole in is a particular concern, it should have been picked up on, it could have been contaminated with anything.

I have both made complaints and worked in the departments that dealt with them. Don't feel like you are attacking the NHS or its staff by complaining. Feedback is useful and good NHS departments will be responsive and helpful and use it constructively. Bad departments....well, it needs to be raised.


pud1 · 23/08/2015 22:11

I think I will mention my concerns. can I do it without my dad finding out. he is very much in the don't make a fuss camp and would not be happy if he knew I had said anything. he would be mortified if I made an official compaint

OP posts:

UterusUterusGhali · 24/08/2015 00:43

The third one is v alarming tbh.
Infusions are double-bagged. There should be no compromise in them.

You need to put your foot down I think. Make a noise.


exoticjuicedrink · 24/08/2015 01:10

Where was the hole in the bag? Sometimes when connecting them to the line the sharp part can puncture the bag if it's been pushed just slightly to hard/far.


goddessofsmallthings · 24/08/2015 03:52

If I were you, I'd be very concerned and I'd be raising merry hell with the nursing staff, the registrar, and the consultant as, quite apart from the other issues you've mentioned, it's not acceptable for your df to be left in pain.

You don't have to make an official complaint to take this up with PALS and I would suggest you also make contact with the hospital's social work department and // who may be able to help you obtain sheltered housing for your df near your home.

However, please be aware that sheltered housing may not be appropriate for your df if it's probable that he will require help with his personal care needs and other options may need to be considered.

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