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"Elderly mother's care"

About: Bowral Hospital Norwest Private Hospital St Vincent's Hospital The Hills Private Hospital

(as a carer),

Extremely disappointed. My mother had a fall at home in Bowral earlier this year - called ambulance. She was admitted to Bowral Public Hospital. Transferred to a ward under the care of a particular doctor. I made many attempts to speak with him about my mother's treatment, but was told he had gone home or was busy.

Mum was transferred to Bowral Private, after about 2 days because apparently they needed the bed. I still had not spoken to the doctor. I made further unsuccessful attempts to speak to the doctor, but it took 4 days of my persistent inquiries. He also had my phone number, but seems to have made no attempts to call me. When I spoke to him, he made errors about the medication my mother was taking. He had no plan on her care. He told me she had delirium, but he had not noticed and asked if I had, which I had not at that time. I did notice my mother experiencing delirium, which worsened and she also started drooling and having difficulty speaking. When I raised this with the doctor, nurses, allied health and NUM (Nurse Unit Manager), they didn't show any concern. I was able to get a family friend to speak with the hospital as nobody was listening to me. After much persuasion, the doctor performed a CT scan for a possible stoke, but said their was nothing that could be done if my mother had suffered a stroke.

After roughly 3 weeks, my mother was transferred to St Vincent's Public in Sydney. They repeated the CT scan and did an MRI for a possible stroke, as well as blood tests. They also performed a chest X-ray and diagnosed my mother with aspiration pneumonia. They also reviewed her medications and ceased all medications except for coated aspirin. However, my mother needed IV antibiotics to treat the pneumonia, which had seriously compromised her health as it was untreated for several weeks in Bowral Private under the original doctor's care.

My mother improved over the first couple of days, but started to suffer from antibiotics associated encephalopathy. Since first being admitted to hospital, my mother has been treated with 9 courses of antibiotics, she has been admitted to Bowral Public 2 times, St Vincent's Public, Bowral Private, Norwest Private, transferred to the Hills private for rehab, then transferred back to Norwest. She was prescribed Metropolol and melatonin in Norwest, undergone a CT guided aspiration and drainage, been prescribed morphine, anti-psychotics and Furosemide. I have raised concerns about medication side effects with doctors at each hospital and the conversation was met with hostility or indifference. We have been kicked out of St Vincent's, Norwest and Bowral Public.

When my mother's health improves the doctors take credit, but when she develops side effects, such as delirium, she is blamed and they say she has dementia and is at end of life. She is currently in respite after we were asked to leave Bowral Public. She seems to have aspirated after nursing staff at Anthem Care, where she is in respite gave her biscuits and toast, whole tablets and have forced her to eat and drink, which I believe goes against the protocols laid out by medical professionals for people with swallowing difficulties. I also believe the staff caring for my mother at Norwest also failed to do a handover to patient transfer staff or the aged care facility. They gave me 4 business days to find a high care respite bed and I felt they demanded I sign a form that stated we would be charged roughly $800/night. My mother is also a DVA gold card holder.

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