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Care for older people: Geraldine's story

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I noticed mum was receiving what I believed to be neglectful care from her local GP in Northamptonshire. She was frail and very ill. Shortly thereafter she came to live with me in Suffolk and I became her carer.

We learned afterwards that my mum was suffering from a very advanced urinary tract infection which necessitate months of treatment to combat. Eventually, she was admitted to the EADU ward at our local hospital, James Paget University Hospital, where she received treatment for uro-sepsis.

Upon arrival I had informed a nurse that my mother sleeps in a recliner due to her arthritis and she is completely unable to lie in a bed. Mum’s consultant instructed the nurse to source a recliner chair, but she failed to source a chair for my mother. When I raised this with staff, I was told that there were chairs available at the time. Lying straight caused my mum an enormous amount of pain added to which she cannot get on and off a bed by herself.

As a result I took her home after only two days of treatment rather than having her stay in longer and subjecting her to that discomfort. Because mum had sat in an upright chair for 50 hours (two days and two nights) she then developed severe cellulitis in both legs – the potential for which I did raise with the nurses on the ward at the time. Mum then had to be ferried backwards and forward to the hospital’s ambulatory unit for 10 days to receive IV antibiotics for the cellulitis.

The community services care my mum has received through East Coast Community Healthcare been brilliant. Our district nurses are exemplary and every intervention has been excellent. Mum has also received excellent care from the occupational therapists, physiotherapists and the continence service.

We’ve also received outstanding care from Dr Meg Hardman and Beccles Medical Centre. Since my mum has changed GPs she has become so much stronger. I also feel confident that my mum will get end of life care that is painless and comfortable. As a carer, I also feel supported by Dr Hardman. When she comes to visit mum at home, she always calls me just as she is leaving the surgery so that I can meet her at home (which is only two minutes away from both the surgery and my place of work). The care really has been second to none.

Last updated:
29 May 2017