A FORMER nurse has said prisoners are treated better than elderly patients after receiving an apology from West Suffolk Hospital over the treatment of her mother.
Jo Jacques, 61, from Guildford, in Surrey, said her 87-year-old mother, Jane Dixey, was left with a catheter fitted when she didn’t need it, was left dehydrated for hours on end and was spoken to like a child after recuperating at the hospital with a broken leg.
Jane died in April, just weeks after being discharged.
Mrs Jacques said: “When I visited my mother in hospital I didn’t like what I saw.
“They had left a beaker of water with a straw in it for my mother to drink, but as her eyesight was bad and her grip weak she wasn’t able to drink it.
“Nobody had even bothered to help her. She had nothing around her that was hers, she had nowhere to put her things.
“I used to be a prison chaplain and prisoners wouldn’t be treated like my mother was, they know the rules and know what should be provided for them.
“I never saw a shortage of nurses, it was the attitude that was the problem.”
And Liz Pryor, whose mother Anne Robson, 79, died just days after leaving West Suffolk Hospital after being treated after a fall, said her mother had been left dehydrated, wet in bed, that cards and gifts were not passed on to her and that she went a whole week without anyone brushing her teeth.
Mrs Pryor said her GP later told her an infirm lady who had difficulty mobilising was sent to hospital with a bruised hip, suspected fracture, and that a moribund terminal patient was sent home one week later.
The hospital later apologised to Mrs Pryor.
Mrs Pryor said: “It seems 16 months after my mother died the hospital is still letting people down.
“The awful thing is the lack of basic nursing care, the lack of human kindness, someone to hold their hand for a minute and actually care for them.”
Stephen Graves, chief executive of West Suffolk Hospital, said: “We are sorry that Mrs Jacques feels the care her mother received fell below the high standards we would expect.
“We take every complaint we receive seriously, and have fully investigated Mrs Jacques’ concerns and fed back the results.
“We have also passed on our sincere apologies for any anxiety or distress which Mrs Dixey experienced whilst in our care, and assured Mrs Jacques that lessons have been learnt as a result of her complaint.
“We want everybody who uses West Suffolk Hospital to have a positive experience of the care we offer and are committed to ensuring all of our patients are treated with dignity.
Jo and Liz are both backing a new campaign by the Patients Association to improve bedside nursing which will be launched next week.