Inside the hospital that’s leading a kindness revolution: Concluding our series on the crisis of compassion in nursing

You might expect Ward B47 to be a depressing place.

The majority of patients are aged over 80 and the expectation is that 30 per cent will have passed away after three months.

All have mental health issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or confusion.

Full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2277169/Inside-hospital-thats-leading-kindness-revolution-Concluding-series-crisis-compassion-nursing.html

Aged 94, and frail as a china doll, Sophia struggled to get out of bed. ‘Come on!’ said the nurse. ‘You’re just being lazy’

On Saturday, in the first part of an uncompromising investigation into nursing in NHS hospitals, Ros Coward asked why so many nurses seem to have stopped caring for their patients. Today, in the wake of the damning report into Stafford Hospital, she suggests the troubling answer…

Sarah Allen is in her 20s.

After a recent asthma attack, she found herself in an unusual situation when she was admitted to a ward in a large London hospital where the other patients were mainly elderly, and several were suffering from dementia.

There, she was able to see for herself whether the terrible stories of patient neglect in the NHS — which have become so common in recent years — were true.

What she saw shocked her.

Full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2276796/Aged-94-frail-china-doll-Sophia-struggled-bed-Come-said-nurse-Youre-just-lazy.html

Why have so many nurses stopped CARING? An investigation into the crisis-hit NHS

  • Robert Francis QC’s report was merely the latest damning indictment
  • Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that cruelty and neglect had become normal in some hospitals and care homes

My 89-year-old mother has suffered with dementia for the past seven years. Over that time she has been in and out of hospital. Some of her care has been excellent, but some has been shocking.

Once, when she collapsed, she was taken to Kingston Hospital, in South-West London. After a long and stressful evening in A&E, a bed was eventually found for her at midnight. 

What a relief, I thought — she was safe and I could go home. As I stooped to whisper goodbye, a nurse shoved something in my face. ‘Sign this,’ she said bluntly. It was a form to absolve the hospital for any loss of my mother’s valuables.

Full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2275943/NHS-Why-nurses-stopped-CARING.html

Have I done enough?

For two years Ros Coward has written a column about caring for her exuberant, but increasingly dependent mother. Here, in a final instalment, she pays a fond tribute to Sybil and explains why her forthright and moving chronicle has to end

It’s Mum’s birthday and I’m not spending it with her. I’m away. In Amsterdam, in fact. This is the first time for many years that I haven’t been with her on her birthday. I ring before leaving to say sorry that I won’t be with her to celebrate her 84th birthday. “Is it my birthday?” she says. “Oh well. I’m not bothered about that stuff. I’m all discombobulated.”

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/oct/18/family-longtermcare

Looking After Mother

We are sitting in an office having our six-monthly visit to the bit of Mum’s care that specifically addresses her dementia. Most of the other branches of the NHS she deals with simply ignore it, even though it’s probably the single most important thing affecting her life. This is a routine appointment, except that this visit is a bit different because it’s her last to our favourite consultant, the Iraqi doctor Mum calls Dr Al Jazeera. He’s retiring and I don’t know about Mum, but I’m certainly upset about it.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/oct/04/family3

Looking After Mother

I’m driving Mum to the seaside for the weekend. She’s out of hospital and the fact that she’s no longer tied to heparin injections given by the district nurses means it’s easier to take her away. The downside is that the warfarin she is now taking is more difficult to organise and supervise. “The sea air will be good for you,” I say. But she’s unusually unenthusiastic, so low in energy and mood that I wonder if the hospital’s changes to her medication are affecting her badly.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/aug/23/mother.carer.relationship

Looking After Mother

Mum had been told she would be staying in hospital for “about a week” while they put her on warfarin and sorted out her blood. But when I visit on Monday afternoon, I find her sitting on her bed with her coat on and her trademark rucksack packed beside her. “Look,” she says to the staff nurse standing by the bed, “we don’t need transport after all. Here’s my daughter.”

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/aug/09/looking.after.mother

Looking After Mother

‘I’m giving your photo to the bus drivers and telling them not to let you on
board,” I say to Mum. She smiles. But I can tell she’s desperate. She’s plucking at the drip in her hand and keeps trying to get up, pulling it all apart. She’s been readmitted to hospital after what was meant to be a routine appointment. Routine for the hospital that is, not for her relatives. This was the fourth out patient appointment in the past eight days and complicated negotiations had gone on about who could take time off from work. Mum, too, is clearly fed up. This time when they told her they were admitting her, leaving her waiting in A&E, she wandered out, got on a bus and reappeared back at her home.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/26/looking.after.mother

Looking After Mother

On one occasion, arriving at hospital during Mum’s recent spate of admissions, I find her sitting on the bed of the young Ethiopian woman opposite. The girl from the next bed is also perched there. The two young ones are in pyjamas, giggling away like teenagers at a sleepover. “Do you know what your mum just said?” says one. “She said, ‘It’s Saturday night. Let’s go for a rave up!’” The Ethiopian girl puts her arm round Mum affectionately. “Last night, she had a lovely silk nightie on and she was showing us her legs.”

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/12/familyandrelationships1

Looking After Mother

Mum’s not the only one repeating herself. I too have become a serial repeater. It must be at least 10 times in the last fortnight that I have recited Mum’s medical history and her medication. Each time to a different doctor or nurse. Recently I’ve been singing the praises of one particular hospital, compared with some of the others we have been to, but now they too have fallen off their pedestal.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/jun/28/familyandrelationships1