Worried about hospital care

I’m quite disturbed by some of the goings on with my mother in hospital. Following her surgery they had a catheter in which made sense - she’s had a hip replacement. I was pleased today to notice that the catheter had gone so I thought progress had been made but my sister told me that mum said she’d asked for the loo and had been left to wet herself. I can only imagine how distressed she must have been. They put her in adult nappies! I didn’t realise until I visited this evening. Again she requested the loo while I was there and I also asked the nearest nurse for the commode. When a pair of them approached I went to the corridor to give them some privacy and thought it was a job jobbed. They’d put her in bed when I came back and after a bit she mentioned again wanting the toilet.

Yesterday she complained of tummy ache and was quite sick.

I know nursing staff are busy but this is poor care. I’m going to speak to the Patient Advice office tomorrow and see if they can find out what’s going on. I had read somewhere that urine infections are not uncommon with catheters and that this can cause confusion - might explain the sudden dramatic plummet in her mental state.

has she been able to pass urine since the catheter was removed? Post op it can be difficult to start weeing again. Is your Mum drinking enough? Is her drink always within her reach? Due to her confusion she might be forgetting to drink or she might be drinking less to avoid having to ask for the commode. The ward nurses should be able to dip test her urine.

I think you should explain that she was continent prior to the op and express your concerns. She might be more comfortable in pads though when she is tired and getting in and out of bed for frequent wees, with a new hip and a broken shoulder will be painful and exhausting.

Your Mum is lucky to have you advocating on her behalf.


We are doing our best. I was also worried about a filthy black bruise she had developed on her arm. She managed to break her shoulder as well as her hip so I wouldn’t have been surprised to see some bruising but this is almost her entire arm and it definitely wasn’t there yesterday because I helped her with her nightgown and I would certainly have seen in. There may be a perfectly sound reason for it but when I mentioned it to one of the nurses she just shrugged and walked away.

It shouldn’t be a struggle to get dignified treatment for our elders should it?

Hi Nikki,

everyone deserves dignified care, regardless of age I agree.

The care given in hospital does vary, I have had quite a few operations and witnessed and experienced very good and less than desirable care.

Unexplained bruising would raise my concerns. I definitely be asking questions. There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation - but if not, then it is a safeguarding matter.


I discussed it with my ‘ghost sister’ and I decided that I will go to PALS in hopes of getting some answers. (Of course the ghost sister was quite happy to leave that to me as per!)

Fortunately I do work at the hospital and I know our PALS staff are great so it might lead to some improvement.

Take a photo of the bruise.