Dignity at DDH

EVERY day elderly people and their families put their trust in the professionalism of staff at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 27th February 2012, 1:48 pm

They expect to be treated with respect and compassion when they are at their most vulnerable.

But more and more families are telling us that their loved ones are being let down. And it’s basic general care, not medical care, that’s lacking.

We, and our readers, have been horrified to hear about patients left months without a bath, not dressed properly or taken to the toilet.

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Today, the Reporter Series launches its Dignity at DDH campaign.

We want bosses at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust to carry out a major review of basic care for the elderly at Dewsbury hospital.

We’d like them to take on board the issues we will be highlighting and, if there are systemic problems within the service, to say what they are going to do.

We know doctors and nurses want to do their best for patients, but it’s not always easy at times of budget and staffing cuts.

Perhaps a patient was given incontinence pads to wear because there were not enough staff to help her to the toilet, or a patient who could only use one arm was left with a tray of food in sealed boxes that she could not open because nobody had time to help.

But it may simply be that while medical care is a priority, basic human needs are not on the agenda.

We believe they should be on the agenda and we’ll be asking for your views and your experiences.

Not every elderly patient has a bad experience and we regularly carry stories and letters praising the hospital. But as a local newspaper and voice of local people, we cannot ignore what has become a series of similar experiences by families.

We feel we must shine a light on problems like this and be a collective voice in asking for change.

In recent weeks, families have told us of their heartbreak at the way their elderly parents were treated at Dewsbury hospital.

Patients left in their own urine, treated like ‘lumps of meat’ or shivering by their bedsides.

Nobody should be treated in that way or have to see their loved ones robbed of their pride.

To view the stories people have told us about see below