Case Study – Personal Care in a Hospital and the Role of Carers

Daniel has secondary multiple sclerosis and Julie is his guardian and carer. Julie contacted HCSCC to make a complaint about the services provided to Daniel during his stay in hospital. She also complained about her experience as his carer.
Julie said that the personal care was poor. For example, Daniel wasn’t moved to a seated position, but was left lying in bed for long periods of time. Julie also said that the nurses were rude to her, ordering her to help them with Daniel’s care and were hostile when she asked about the lack of care. The nurses would often ask questions of her, instead of making sure Daniel agreed.
Julie told HCSCC she had already complained to the hospital but felt that the response she received was rude and dismissive. After this, Julie made a more formal complaint and waited for a response. Three months later, Julie received another response from the hospital. Dissatisfied, Julie made a complaint to HCSCC. HCSCC thought the provider’s written response was reasonable and they also apologised for any problems caused.
HCSCC decided that as Daniel was likely to have future hospital admissions, supported by Julie, it was important that Julie trusted the hospital. HCSCC asked the hospital to arrange for Julie to meet with the Director of Nursing.
At the meeting, Julie, the Director of Nursing, the hospital’s Patient Advisor and an HCSCC representative talked about Julie and Daniel’s experience and:
  • apologised to Julie and Daniel
  • explained the hospital complaints process and the action taken in response to her complaints
  • offered to work with Julie to improve the services for Daniel
  • developed a plan for Daniel’s future admissions based on a partnership approach.
Julie thanked the hospital staff for talking through her complaint and said she finally felt better about the hospital.