A pensioner has spoken out about her “horrendous” days where she was left to fend for herself, “alone, confused and worried” on a ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Elizabeth Spencer, 74, who was admitted with stomach pains, is now lodging an official complaint with the hospital trust in the hope other patients will get better care than she did.
Mrs Spencer, of Wibsey, said during her three-day stay in February on the acute surgical admissions unit she was told off by a doctor when her sheets became soiled with blood, ignored by nurses and had to clean the floor round her bed.
After the Telegraph & Argus, which has been championing dignity for older people through its With Respect campaign, contacted Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust about Mrs Spencer’s concerns, it said it would be contacting her as a matter of urgency and apologised in advance.
Chief Nurse Juliette Greenwood, said: “The Foundation Trust is very disappointed to hear of Mrs Spencer’s complaint following her recent treatment at the Bradford Royal Infirmary and will be contacting her direct, as a matter of urgency, to discuss her patient experience.
“I would like to apologise, in advance, if we failed to provide Mrs Spencer with an appropriate standard of care.”
Mrs Spencer’s complaint includes claims she was told off by a doctor when her cannula came out covering her bedsheets in blood and that nurses repeatedly failed to respond to her buzzer although she was in a bed too high to get out of and had been given medication to clear her bowels.
On one occasion she said she was ringing the buzzer for 15 minutes before finally giving up and having to sort herself out.
She said: “No-one came so I turned it off. I washed myself in the best way I could and cleaned the floor – I was still attached to a drip.”
Mrs Spencer, whose husband Stanley died from cancer six years ago, said it happened again but when a nurse did eventually come to look round the curtain she disappeared and 30 minutes later had still not come back “I had to clean up the best I could again. The nurse eventually came back but once she realised I had cleaned myself, the floor and changed my nightclothes she went away again.”
“My first few days were horrendous, I shouldn’t have been treated like that,” said Mrs Spencer .
“There were older people than me on that ward. It was difficult enough for me to cope with that lack of care but for anyone bedridden I dread to think what it would have been like. Someone needs to take responsibility for how that ward was being run, they need to shape up and give the decent dignified care that patients need.”
She was transferred to Ward 11 for the last few days of her stay and said it was like being in a different hospital all together, well-run and organised.
She added: “A few days after I was discharged from the BRI I got a phone call from them cancelling a general anaesthetic procedure because the hospital could not find my notes.
“My daughter had booked two days off work to be with me. That was back in February and I’ve heard nothing since. As far as I know my notes are still lost.”