By Mike Ashworth | September 30, 2014
This is an email sent by a family member to Adult Care Services in Bury regarding the treatment of my Uncle, who is terminally ill with cancer, at Burrswood House Nursing Home in Bury, which is owned by Bupa.
I have removed some of the names and replaced with x’s
Dear Sir / Madam
I am writing to you with concerns about the standard of care of David xxxxxx, aged 64, who is a resident in Burrswood House Nursing Home, Newton Street, Bury. He is terminally ill with cancer which has spread to his bones, chest, abdomen and liver.
When we visited on Sunday afternoon his bed was unmade, the nurse call buzzer was out of his reach, his clothes were unclean, his toilet room was filthy and he had not been shaved for days but all that paled into insignificance due to the level of pain he was in. He was in so much pain that he was crying and asking for a knife to stab himself as he could not stand it.
I spoke to the nurse named xxxxx who took the time to explain and discuss his analgesia with me and assured me it would be reviewed on Monday and indeed his GP visited yesterday and increased his morphine. I believe he also added in a relaxant. I am grateful for that but it is still not good enough as he is not being cared for.
He went to this home for 24 hour nursing / palliative care and to find him in such a state was heart-breaking. I was so upset about his level of pain and distress that I didn’t take it up with xxxxx re the other concerns.
I made his bed and tried to make him comfortable and tried to occupy his mind to try to take his focus off the pain he was in.
Carers were passing and must surely have noticed his bed was unmade? It was quarter past 2pm when we arrived to find him lying dishevelled on a bed with just a crumpled sheet at the bottom and not covering the mattress which meant he was lying on the mattress itself.
He has a close friend named xxx who is his former partner and she visits him regularly. She visited him later on Sunday (after we’d left) and also yesterday, and she spoke to xxxxx as well about his room being a mess, his bed unmade, David not receiving the care he needs and was informed that his level of care was being upped. It is totally unsatisfactory for this only to be done when concerns are raised – if he was being cared for properly his needs should be reassessed frequently and his care plan amended accordingly. xxx had to shave him on Sunday evening and she told me he had not been shaved since the Wednesday. This is neglect!
I had hoped that finding him in such a state was an isolated incident but after speaking to xxx I find that she has regularly found his room a mess, his bed unmade and his care standards lacking. xxx has often had to give the care that the nursing home staff should have provided.
I have emailed a complaint to the Nursing Home earlier today and have flagged up my concerns with the Care Quality Commission but since then xxx has visited him again and found him totally naked! She had to wash him, dress him, shave him and make his bed yet again!
Last week, David telephoned his sister, in great distress to say he had been shouting for a nurse for a long time and could not reach his buzzer and no-one was coming. He had phoned her to ask if she could ring the home to tell them he needed attention. She rang the home but it was some time before she got an answer and he was still left in distress while this was happening. The nurse told her she was going to go to him – but you can appreciate that all this is really upsetting for his family and friends.
Today we find out that two of his friends visited him recently and were really shocked to find him in the state he was in and they told xxx they believed he should be moved.
We are all very upset that our loved one, a dying man, is being left in such distress and without the care he needs. We feel he should be moved somewhere where he can be cared for appropriately such as the Hospice.