Families speak of their shock at poor care of loved ones

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Claims of dirty wards and nurses too rushed off their feet to properly care for hospital patients have been made by three families.

Elaine Everest witnessed a string of failings in the care of her mother, Jean Lunn, 84, at Pinderfields Hospital shortly before her death.

Mrs Lunn was admitted in December for treatment for a heart condition and ulcers on her legs and feet.

Mrs Everest, of Thornleigh Croft, Wakefield, said nobody helped her mother undress, get into bed or go to the toilet.

She said: “Staff were rushed off their feet.”

After she left hospital, Mrs Lunn’s GP found an open wound on her breast which turned out to be cancer.

Mrs Everest said: “He just couldn’t believe it was not picked up at the hospital.”

Mrs Lunn was admitted to Pinderfields again in January but nurses said they were too busy to help her to the toilet.

In her complaint to Mid Yorkshire, Mrs Everest said: “On my next visit I found her with excrement stains on her hands, fingernails, face and nightdress.”

Mrs Lunn died at WakfielHospice on January 12.

In a letter responding to her complaint, matron Anne-Marie Dyer said: “I am extremely sorry that Mrs Lunn was left at any time in a soiled state or in a soiled bed.”

Malcolm Stead was admitted to Pinderfields on March 18 with breathing problems.

His family said a tube attached to help him urinate leaked, he was left in a wet bed, and nobody helped him to the toilet.

Mr Stead died on April 3, aged 76, of pneumonia and kidney problems.

His wife Barbara, 73, of New Road, Middlestown, said: “Things I saw in there, I’ll never forget.”

His son John, 50, said: “Food was just left on the table in front of him. He would be ringing and ringing his bell and they never came.”

Neil Auty, 51, of Kettlethorpe, has also raised concerns about care at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

During visits to one of his relatives in December he claimed there was dirt and waste paper under the bed, and stressed nurses faked paperwork to show they had checked on patients.

He said: “We would get there at 2pm and it had already been signed up until 6pm at the end of the shift.”

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said complaints were taken very seriously.

Director of quality Kate Harper said: “However, the issues that have been raised to the Wakefield Express are not representative of the overall satisfaction of our patients and their loved ones.

“In the year up to March 31 2013, we received just over 1,400 complaints from patients. This represents less than 0.2 per cent of the patients we see every year across Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury.

“However we are not complacent and we take every opportunity to improve the quality of care, treatment and experience we provide.