Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Written by a carer
17th June 2020
***ATTENTION TO THOSE WHO ARE ELDERLY OR TO THOSE WITH ELDERLY RELATIVES: THIS HOSPITAL SLURS ELDERLY PATIENTS AND PUTS ITS OWN INCOMPETENCE DOWN TO THEIR PATIENT'S AGE. THIS COMES UNDER THE DEFINITION OF 'ELDER ABUSE' ***
I am absolutely DISGUSTED with is hospital. Not only did it put my father at serious risk of coronavirus infection during his last visit at the end of May (I had to contact Public Health England over this matter), but now I have had to endure lie after lie to cover its incompetence.
The latest debacle comes courtesy of Dr. Johnson on ward 4. I explained that my father has been in a vicious cycle of admissions over the last 18 months due to postural hypotension and related falls. I said that whilst I appreciate that this is difficult condition to control, I am deeply worried that during every single admission, it is discovered that my father has a UTI (my father has urinary incontinence). I pleaded yet again that instead of treating the symptoms with antibiotics again, that we try and investigate the cause of these recurrent infections. I also addressed that the fact that my father has been suffering very bad constipation issues over the last 6-8 months, requiring multiple visits from the district nurse to conduct an enema to help him. I said that because of his prostate cancer history, the two symptoms would seem to warrant a check on whether or not his prostate is enlarged. I was told that his PSA levels were checked on his last admission at the end of May/June and they were in normal range.
Dr. Johnson grudgingly agreed to perform an ultrasound to see if there is something underlying related to the anatomy of the bladder. When I addressed the constipation issue and what would be done about that, he told me there was no longer an issue: it had been treated successfully with senna and lactulose for the last week and the nurses recorded this on my father's notes. Having spoken to my father earlier in the day, he told me that he was still in discomfort and had only passed a small amount in 72 hours. I rang my father again to tell him what the doctor had said and he stood by his initial complaint of being unable to pass properly.
I rang Dr. Johnson back, stating that my father had a different account of his bowel issues and along the line, either someone is not recording the information correctly or someone had misread it. Dr. Johnson said he would speak to the nurses about it. I also suggested that he speak to my father too.
I had a phone call from Dr. Johnson 20 minutes later, telling me that he had spoken to the nurses and that my father had refused treatment for the constipation for five days and if he refused treatment, he could not ease his constipation. He said that I needed to speak to him as, I quote "I think that you're father is muddled. Being in a tent for over a week would make anyone irritable, especially an older person".
Therefore, in the space of 90 minutes, my father had gone from being successfully treated for constipation because of administered medication, to suffering with constipation because he is non-compliant and muddled owing to his age.
The dramatic change in Dr. Johnson's story shows that once I picked up on the discrepancies between the nurses' notes and what my father reported, a failing by himself or the nurses had to be covered in some way. For the record, my father says that he only declined the senna one night because he was in terrible pain and that he never refused the lactulose as he loves the taste!! As he regularly takes senna at home, I have no reason to doubt him. I have every reason to believe that Dr. Johnson has tried to cover his incompetence by slurring and labeling my father as 'muddled' and elderly. I wonder how he would get around doing this to a 25-year-old patient.