Carer's Experience Medical Neglect

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The first letter is from Dr(GP!) to the Hospital Psychiatrist.

"I would be grateful if you could carry out a domicillary visit on this frail elderly lady who has a myriad of medical problems including cerebrovascular disease. She was recently in the medical wards under Dr ....'s care and her son telephoned me today to say that Dr .... had told him that Mrs. Stewart has a degree of dementia. Mr. Stewart who, to say the least, is an introspective and eccentric individual, has requested an assessment of his mother to determine the actual degree of dementia. You may find, as I have found, that Mr. Stewart asks you a lot of detailed questions about his mother's condition and also uses medical terms fairly freely."

This letter of the 28th August is the Psychiatrist's reply.

"....we have a history of about a year's duration of a faulty memory, noticed both by the patient and her son. This has got worse in the last few months. A CT scan of the brain performed recently showed atrophy of the brain in keeping with the patient's age and no haemorrhages or infarcts."

"The son is the main carer and he is trying his best to cope with the situation and seems to be fulfilling his role adequately at present."

"On formal cognitive testing she scored 4 out of 10 on the abbreviated mental test score."

"She does have some symptoms of a depressive nature, but her gastro-intestinal problems seem to be very prominent and I think if these are attended to, it might change her mood and her reaction in general."

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Iain R. Stewart, Ex-Carer

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