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Second-class care for elderly?

Letter of the Week: Name & Address Supplied

Dear Sir,

An aged relation who is almost 90 (nevertheless they are spritely, articulate and alert) was taken into Dewsbury District Hospital after a mild heart attack and was initially cared for in the Coronary Care Unit where the care was marvellous.

Before being released, however, they were transferred to and spent three days in Ward Two (Bronte Towers – an annex of the DDH). They described their treatment and the conditions there as appalling.

They mentioned that food was insufficient, of very poor quality and mostly inedible.

On one occasion they were served some kind of boiled fish and tomato soup on the same plate (the fish was listed as ‘Finney Haddock’ but the ‘Finney’ had run out).

On another occasion they were served a beef gravy purporting to be beef stew.

My relative believes the elderly patients in Bronte Towers were being served the leftovers from the main hospital where the food had been far superior.

They mentioned that if they asked for a sandwich instead of a meal and sandwiches ran out, they did without food.

They also mentioned that other things were in short supply, for example, cleaning staff ran out of disinfectant and cleaned only with water.

The sinks in the washrooms did not have plugs and the showers did not work and were dirty. Personal hygiene was almost an afterthought on most days.

Most worrying of all though was when patients wanted urgent assistance. On occasions their call bells were either out of reach or when the call buttons were used they were not answered for many minutes. Patients would call out for a nurse and those calls were also not answered for many minutes.

Some of the nursing staff were “lovely” but others appeared “uncaring”, “unfeeling”, “arrogant and rude”, frequently patients were “told off” for being a nuisance.

A female patient complained to her family about her treatment, they in turn complained to the staff, after that none of the staff would speak to the patient. My relative was afraid to complain at the time for that reason.

Finally my relative claimed there was a general lack of privacy and loss of dignity when having to ask to go to the toilet and no one would answer.

There are no adequate washing or bathing facilities and patients were washed in their bed despite being able to walk to the washroom.

My relative believes Bronte Tower is where DDH place the elderly (anyone over 75) and it appears that once there they are out of sight and given sub-standard treatment.

Some of these complaints are similar to the findings by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in August 2012.

Despite apologies and promises of improvement by Mr Stephen Eames at that time (August 2012) matters do not seem to have changed.

• Sally Napper, Chief Nurse at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We take issues such as this very seriously. The situation described is clearly below the standard we would expect and we would want to apologise for such a poor experience. 

“We would always encourage anyone to discuss such concerns directly with us. Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) are available to help people with any issues like this. They can be reached on 01924 543686 or by email at pals@midyorks.nhs.uk.”

Open eyes to ‘our’ takeover

From: Muhammed Abdullah, by email

Dear Sir,

I love Ed Lines keep up the good work, your bashing of the Muslim community is fantastic it has really opened up my eyes.

This week about Savile Town houses is a revelation. I hope you continue your good work, in the meantime “we” will make our empires bigger, stick together and carry on being Muslims.

The rate that people are coming to Islam, (in) 20 years (we) will be running “your” beloved England.

BBC bias not good enough

From Betty Goodwin, Earlsheaton

Dear Sir,

When I pay the annual BBC licence fee of £145.50 I expect that organisation to give unbiased and informative reporting on the most important national and international events as they occur.

The civil war in Syria has so far cost between 80,000 and 100,000 lives.

Hundreds perished in the deadliest migrant shipwreck to date off the Italian coast. Many of the casualties may never be recovered.

These stories were not sufficiently important for the BBC, whose priority and disproportionate coverage was of Labour leader Ed Miliband’s defence of his deceased father’s politics.

The BBC conducted a virtual election campaign in support of Mr Milliband jnr. NOT what I want for my licence fee and further confirmation of the BBC’s left political bias.

I can’t stand this new band

From: Name & address supplied

Dear Sir,

Silly me! When I read that Dewsbury was to have a bandstand I was delighted.

In my innocence I thought this would be for professional bands – musicians, able to play a wide variety of instruments; able to read music, able to provide related entertainment, for which this region is (was?) famous.

Alas, apparently not so.

From the photo it appears it’s to be nothing more than a venue for talentless, tuneless, screaming, three-chord yob yowlers, whose wailings permeate every cafe and every supermarket’s sound system.

No doubt their dismal howlings will be well received by the great unwashed, for our society has now brought the adulation of mediocrity to a fine art. Okay, so I’m old, out-of-touch, not ‘with it’.

True. And that’s how I intend to stay.

Where’s the benefit state?

From: R Smithson, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

My son, aged 48, returned home after 13 years in the USA, where his wife worked.

Following a divorce then redundancy he returned to his place of origin – Yorkshire.

Applying for rental support and job-seeker’s allowance he was declined, the reason being that he is “classed as a habitual resident”.

Yet he only returned once to our 50th anniversary.

My wife and I are both 80, on a modest pension, but we are having to allow him to sleep on our settee and feed him.

So much for the welfare state. Our government treats immigrants more favourably than indigenous UK-born residents.

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