A hospital has apologised after an elderly dementia patient was left in his own urine and faeces for several hours.
Khawaja Anwar, 82, was admitted to Royal Liverpool University hospital on 3 February after breaking two bones in his pelvis during a fall in his garden.
His wife, Nargis, made a formal complaint against the hospital after noticing dry excrement on his gown, which had “been there for some time” after he woke up.
“The physio came and started to help him to move him so he could sit on the edge of the bed before standing him up. He was in extreme pain,” she wrote in the letter seen by the Liverpool Echo.
“I told the nurse that he is wet and dirty and needs cleaning,” said Mrs Anwar, who added that on the same day she cleaned her husband after finding him “covered in faeces again”.
“No assistance was offered. I asked where the gloves were and I was told in the corridor so went and got some gloves to help him to be cleaned up properly.”
She added that she was “horrified” by the lack of hygienic practices she witnessed, and that staff had also failed to prompt her husband – who has vascular dementia – to eat.
Anwar’s son, Aamer, told the BBC he understood the NHS was under “real pressure” but that the treatment his father had received was “simply unacceptable”.
He said: “There was another occasion where my father vomited and the auxiliary nurse just sat and watched and did nothing to help my mother clean him up.
“Just because somebody gets old and lies in a bed and might get dementia doesn’t mean that they don’t know how people are dealing with them.”
“People do very difficult jobs in difficult circumstances, but what these individual members of staff failed to do was a betrayal to the NHS and the values it’s supposed to represent,” he added.
The hospital’s deputy chief nurse, Colin Hont, issued an apology in response to the complaint. “I have personally spoken to Mr Anwar’s family about the concerns they have raised and given them our sincere apologies.
He said: “Patient care is our top priority. We have taken steps to address the family’s areas of concern and have put in place a detailed care plan for Mr Anwar.”