We have put together the following points to help to ensure everyone receives the treatment and care they should expect regardless of age or vulnerability as a patient.
- Everyone has a right to be tested for MRSA and C-diff on admission to the hospital. Ask to be tested on admission to ensure you are not taking the infection into the hospital- some hospitals will offer the tests as they do not want someone bringing infections into the hospital.
- Everyone should have a care plan. This sets out the plan for you or your relatives care. Ask to see it, inform staff you want to be involved with your relatives care provide as much information as you can. Ensure you have regular communication with the doctors and nurses. Ask when the ward round takes place. Inform staff you want to be present. Ask questions, you have a right to be kept informed of test results and any changes to the plan of care i.e. medication. Ensure you know who your relatives ‘named nurse’ is and that they know who you are.
- Try to spend as much time with your relative as possible. Try to get there other than at visiting times, especially meal times. You have a right to stay, ask to be shown the relatives facilities i.e. bathroom.
- Ensure your relative is receiving the right nutrition and fluids. Ensure you have access the nutrition and fluid charts. If you have concerns and one is not in place ask for one. If they are not being filled in by the staff, ask why. You may find ‘refused’ has been put on the chart. If so question it. If your relative is unable to feed themselves ask what system is in place to ensure your relative is given food and fluids.
- You have a right to an assessment from social services. This is for anyone who is classed as a vulnerable adult. Ask for one.
- If you are not happy with any treatment or service you or your relative is receiving, ask to see the ward manager. You have a right to ask questions and make a complaint. This should be done in writing and addressed to the Chief Executive Martin Yeates. Send copies to your MP and Cure the NHS. Include any evidence – times, dates, witness contact details.
Cure the NHS members hope this guide will help you or your relatives during their hospital stay. If you have any other advice that we could add please let us know and we can include them.