From: Anonymous

My father was admitted to NRGH emergency on May 4 with extreme pain in his right knee. He was admitted to the ER and diagnosed with Pseudomonas Bacteria and put on IV antibiotics. An orthopedic surgeon was called in to wash the knee to remove as much of the bacteria as possible. The bacteria was not subsiding with the antibiotics so a second wash was done on his knee and they discovered a torn meniscus, so removed the fragments at the same time. He was in the orthopedic ward for several weeks and finally moved to the Low-Intensity Rehab unit for rehabilitation so that he could eventually go home. It has been over 5 weeks now, and he is still in hospital, without daily scheduled rehab or physio or movement out of his bed. He is now plagued with bed sores on his backside and the heel of his good leg and has yet to get out of bed to walk. This is a result of a lack of movement and assistance to get out of bed. He is rarely moved out of his bed into a chair and physio is inconsistent and sporadic.
NRGH is grossly understaffed with no consistency of nursing staff on any floor, resulting in a catch-up each time someone new is on staff. We commonly hear “We are doing the best we can, we are understaffed”. They are all trying their best and you can tell are getting frustrated as well. While Dad is in the Low-Intensity Rehab unit, there is no focus on rehabilitation to get patients home. Many of the patients remain in bed all day and are waiting for placement into other facilities. There is no consistency with physiotherapy and no plan to move Dad out of bed to get stronger. They have given Dad regular pain medication and a quick-release pain medication just before physio so he can endure the pain, and at times there has been no medication available on the floor, so physio has been sent away, only to show up another day, if we are lucky! There are limited staff to assist him in getting out of bed, and as Dad is over 6 feet, he needed a wheelchair with leg extenders so he could raise his leg and knee. They ordered him a wheelchair and it has been broken for over a week! So he just stays in bed, only to get weaker, more depressed, unable to move, and covered with bed sores! It is heartbreaking. We, as a family are there on a daily basis, to take him food, and help him with his exercises and care as best we can, however, we are not physiotherapists, nor are we trained to move him from the bed. There appears to be no plan for his rehabilitation so we can get him home and free up a bed. There is no one to coordinate anything with, hard to find someone to talk to, and no one to advocate for us. It is like living in a third-world country, and an abysmal way to treat our tax-paying citizens and particularly our loved ones.
This is a crisis and more attention must be paid to what is happening at NRGH. It is now almost 6 weeks, and we do not see any plan or progress in sight and in the meantime, are watching our Dad shrivel away. We do not know what to do.