If you have a relative in hospital and are concerned for their welfare and the standard of their treatment, we can recommend the following tips to ensure their safety:
- Make friends with other patients – ask them to look out for your relative.
- Make friends with staff – many will want to help you
- Find out the name of your relatives assigned nurse, Sister Leach wrote and told me that each patient is assigned a specific nurse each shift.
- Write down any concerns with the care being given, ensuring you also record the date, time and the name of the person involved, if necessary take photographs, obtain evidence of any problems
- Keep an eye on the medication being given – ask what your relative is being given and ensure that medication chart is correct and is returned after use.
- It is common for a persons current medication to be stopped when they are admitted to hospital – if symptoms return, ensure that a doctor is aware of what former medication your relative was taking.
- If possible try to be present when nurses see to your relative, particularly if your relative is confused or is hard of hearing.
- When contacting the hospital by telephone, try to ask specific questions to avoid ambiguous answers such as ‘had a comfortable night’.