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Son calls on Frimley Park Hospital to improve end-of-life care

A Yateley man is unhappy with how his mother was treated during her final few weeks of life and is campaigning for it to improve its end of life care

Pamela died on May 31 and her son is unhappy with how she was treated at Frimley Park Hospital

A grieving son is campaigning for Frimley Park Hospital to improve its palliative care following the death of his mother.

Nigel Trudgill, from Yateley, lost his mother Pamela to terminal pancreatic cancer on May 31 and is unhappy with how she was treated during her final few weeks of life.

He now hopes to gather accounts from others who have had a similar experience in a bid to lobby the hospital to improve its end of life care.

Outlined in a 13-page complaint letter to Frimley Park, he said his mum was made to eat when she was not hungry, orange juice was left out for 34 hours, she was not helped to dress properly for bed and was given medication when she had difficulty swallowing.

Mr Trudgill, 50, says the response to his complaint is insufficient and wants proof that staff will receive more training in this area.

He said: “Frimley Park have only said sorry. They have not said how they are going to improve. I want to see what they are doing.

“I would like the staff to attend workshops to show how certain procedures can impact on the patient and their family.”

Mr Trudgill said he was not blaming any one person at the hospital, but wanted changes to be made so other patients did not experience the same treatment.

He said his mother was continually encouraged to eat and drink, particularly in the morning, even though she repeatedly said ‘no’.

In his letter, he said: “She just did it and hoped that would make it end, and they would go away and stop this encouragement”.

Pamela was fed porridge despite telling staff she did not eat it, as it brought back traumatic memories of being in a children’s home.

So her other son, Neil, would visit every morning to feed her Weetabix.

Mr Trudgill said his mother never received a palliative care programme and there was no communication between the family and hospital about the end of life services available, such as a courtyard garden exclusively for terminally ill patients.

Pamela was first admitted to hospital on March 17 when she discovered she had inoperable pancreatic cancer. She was discharged a week later but soon returned to the Portsmouth Road site following a stroke on May 5.

On May 28, Pamela was moved to Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham. She died three days later, aged 81.

Pamela used to live in Farnborough with her husband Leonard, who died aged 78 in June 2011.

A spokesman for Frimley Park Hospital, said: “The director of nursing and her senior team have met with the Trudgill family on a number of occasions to listen to their feedback on where they felt our care for Mrs Trudgill could have been improved, and we have taken all their comments on board.

“We are sorry that on occasions Mr Trudgill felt food was offered to his mother when it was not appropriate to do so. As a result we have reminded staff that while nutrition is a very important aspect of patient care, offering food to a patient who does not have an appetite can be distressing.”

 

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