TAMESIDE and Glossop Integrated Care, NHS Foundation has admitted its failings following the death of 100-year-old Ida Duffy earlier this year.
Ida’s son David Phillips, who complained about the standard of care his mother received at Tameside General Hospital after she was taken ill days after celebrating her landmark birthday at Millbrook Care Centre, has welcomed the findings following an investigation.
David said: “The response was detailed and well informed.
“The slow/poor response and the fact that the complaints process really does not work are the key issues which the facts and nice words do not address – but it all sounds good.
“I wonder if anything will actually be done to improve this.
“They clearly need to cull some of the dead wood that abounds in the system.”
David was keen for the Correspondent to publicise his mother’s case.
“If some good can come out of all of this, then that would be fantastic,” he said.
Trust chief executive Karen James said: “As a Trust we aim to provide the highest standards and deliver a personalised and responsive approach to care and clearly this experience has fallen below our expectations.
“Please accept my sincere apologies for the concerns you have raised.
“Please be assured that all appropriate action has been taken to remedy any failings and improve the service we provide.”
David, who lives in Canada, was visiting his mother at the time and had great difficulty locating her at hospital.
He was also unhappy how the hospital lost her glasses and hearing aid when she was registered blind and had issues with her hearing.
David was also concerned that when his mother was discharged and returned to Millbrook Care Centre the hospital failed to give their staff instructions about her care.
There was also a battle to get Ida a portable oxygen bottle as initially it was a standard one that meant she could not leave her bedroom at the care home.
When David complained about to the Trust’s PALS and Complaints Team, he was unhappy how his telephone calls went unanswered.
Within 24 hours of the Correspondent intervening and contacting Ms James directly, the Trust launched an investigation into David’s complaints.
Ms James apologised for the delay in investigating David’s complaint that was subsequently carried out by Jo-Ann Smith, matron of urgent care services, including the emergency department, and Sally Curtis, matron for the division of medicine and clinical support services.
As for David having difficulty locating his mother at the hospital, Ms James admitted “this is not the level of customer service we expect from our reception staff” continuing “it is the expectation that all members of the team are able to manipulate and interrogate the Trust computer systems to provide accurate information.”
She added this has been raised with the manager of the reception team who will discuss customer service and care with her staff on a one-to-one basis and to identify any specific needs.
Ms James admitted the losses of Ida’s glasses and hearing aid “caused your mother a great deal of distress and anxiety”.
She added: “I acknowledge her ability to communicate with staff was significantly impaired.
“I understand staff were aware of your mother’s visual impairment. However, I am sorry that steps were not taken to arrange replacement glasses for her at the time.”
Ms James said this issue had been raised with nursing staff, stressing the importance of patient belongings during transfer and during an admission.
She also apologised for David’s messages to the PALS and Complaints Team going unanswered saying “this may have helped alleviate some of your concerns” and the Trust is committed to learning from patient feedback.
David also praised the Correspondent, saying: “Thanks for everything, especially for caring and taking action.”