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No excuse for lapse in ward care
10:42am Thursday 20th September 2012 in Our View
There is no doubt that our health service is under immense daily pressure and staff have incredibly hard workloads, but there can be no excuse for the fact that an 80-year-old woman with dementia was able to go missing for more than two hours from a ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary .
It is traumatic enough for the family of Margaret Taylor to see the effects the condition has had on her. But to be told that she had gone missing from the hospital in a very confused state without a coat on a rainy day was shocking for the family.
Daughter-in-law Susan Taylor had told nurses to watch Mrs Taylor closely, but despite this, the pensioner was somehow able to walk out of the ward and get herself back to her home in Eccleshill – a journey that would normally involve two buses.
She was found in a distressed state, with no recollection of how she got there. She had also lost her false teeth.
The T&A launched its With Respect campaign in a bid to ensure the elderly and vulnerable are treated with the dignity they deserve.
Sadly, the lapse that allowed Mrs Taylor to slip out of the ward meant she was not cared for in the way her family were entitled to expect.
Bradford Teaching Trust has apologised to the family, and must now put any measures necessary in place to stop similar incidents in the future. It is impossible to imagine the distress Mrs Taylor must have suffered in her confused state.
But what is clear is we all have a duty to ensure that everything possible is done to protect the dignity of those growing old in the terrible shadow of dementia.