‘I felt my mother was treated like a nobody and not with dignity’

Residents in south east ‘in hibernation’

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ALL Pamela Mulrooney wanted was for her 97-year-old mother to end her life with dignity.

But the exact opposite happened according to Mrs Mulrooney, who says her mother Hilda Woolgar was neglected at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

It was a far cry from the ‘amazing’ care her dying father Raymond had received 18 years earlier on Charles Ward – the predecessor to G5, the dedicated end-of-life care ward.

‘I’ve had experience of care there now and when there was a dedicated end-of-life care ward, and they’ve gone backwards not forwards,’ said Mrs Mulrooney, 73, of Woofferton Road, Paulsgrove.

‘The care my father received was fantastic. He died with dignity. But I felt my mother was treated like a nobody. I don’t feel she was looked after enough, she was just left to die. She didn’t get the same attention my father did.

‘If G5 had still been there she would have died with dignity. They should never have closed that ward.’

Mrs Woolgar was admitted to F3 ward at QA on January 1, after suffering a stroke. A week later she suffered another stroke and began to deteriorate.

On January 21 she was transferred to F4 – four days before she died – where her daughter says the care went rapidly downhill.

‘I had a phonecall from the hospital saying she was being moved because there was a man who had had a severe stroke and had an infection, and they wanted to isolate him so needed her side-room,’ she said.

‘They moved her to F4 in her own room, but the care just went downhill from then on.

‘They were putting meals in her room which she couldn’t eat. One day I went to see her and her eyes had been weeping and no-one had cleaned her face all day. And one night, around 9.30pm, I was about to leave and just wanted to chat to someone before I did and couldn’t find a member of staff anywhere.

‘I was so worried about how regularly they were actually checking on her and thought if she had passed away in the night, would anyone have even known?

‘I was also approached three times by different people saying that they wanted to move her from QA back to her rest home.

‘I was so angry. She was a 97-year-old woman who didn’t have long left and they just wanted to turf her out. It was only when I threatened to contact The News they stopped asking me.’

Mrs Mulrooney added: ‘If G5 had been there, there wouldn’t have been any problems.

‘She would have got the care and attention she deserved, like my father.’

Mrs Mulrooney has since complained to Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA.

She has also told the independent panel investigating the G5 closure about her mother’s experience.

The hospital trust says it is investigating.

A spokesman for the trust said: ‘Patient care and experience are and will always remain the highest priorities for the trust and any feedback we receive is taken very seriously. We constantly strive to further improve our services for the benefit of all our patients.

‘The trust has received Mrs Mulrooney’s recent correspondence which is being fully investigated. We will be in touch with Mrs Mulrooney as soon our investigation has been completed.’