Norfolk hospital's care criticised by husband

Michael Marler said his wife, who has Alzheimer's, was in "a very sorry state"

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A man from Suffolk, who says his wife was not fed or washed during a four-day hospital stay, wants standards of care for elderly patients to improve.

Michael Marler from Lowestoft has made a formal complaint to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk, over the way his wife Monica was treated.

The hospital apologised and promised to investigate the care the Alzheimer's sufferer received.

Mr Marler has been the main carer for his wife Monica for six years.

On 4 February, Mrs Marler had stopped eating and was taken into the James Paget Hospital.

Mr Marler said staff at the hospital did not help his wife to eat, so he ended up feeding her himself.

He said in frustration at the lack of care he threatened to sue the hospital.

"Doctors and nurses soon appeared at the bedside," he said.

"When another patient called out for a drink there was no response so I had to help her too."

Patient safety

Julia Hunt, chief matron at the James Paget Hospital, said: "We are sorry that on this occasion, the care received has not met expectations.

"We have a duty to protect the confidentiality of our patients and as such, we cannot discuss individual cases with anyone other than the patient involved or their immediate family.

"We will be fully investigating the issues raised by this gentleman.

"We consider the patient's safety and their privacy and dignity to be the primary focus of the care we deliver."

Ms Hunt said the hospital had introduced protected meal times and the Essence of Care programme.

"Some of the aspects included are communication, nutrition, hydration and personal care."

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