Hoxton pensioner ‘told to wet herself at night’ by UCH worker after knee replacement

Melek Kerr was also left stuck after her stairlift broke this week. Picture: Samantha Grace

Melek Kerr was also left stuck after her stairlift broke this week. Picture: Samantha Grace - Credit: Archant

A hospital worker suggested an elderly mother should wet herself if she couldn’t get to the toilet during the night after a knee replacement, her daughter has claimed.

Samantha Grace said she has “never been so horrified” and has now launched a complaint with University College Hospital (UCH).

The alleged comment was made at the home of her mother Melek Kerr in Shepherdess Walk, Hoxton, last month. Samantha and the occupational therapist (OT) were joined by a physio and social worker to assess the home to see what adaptations and care were needed for her mother, who was unable to walk.

Samantha had already had a request for a hospital bed denied and Melek had stuggled to climb onto her own bed, which had to be pushed against a wall to stop it moving backwards.

“Finally my mother hoisted herself up onto the bed with assistance,” said Samantha. “Once up there I then asked: ‘What happens during the night when my mother needs to go to the toilet? How is she going to get back into bed?’ – to which, to my horror and disgust, the OT said she will have to wet in her pad.

“I have never been so horrified or disgusted that a medical professional would suggest such a thing, to someone who is able to get herself up and down and onto the toilet using a frame.

“My mother is 74 years old and has always been independent and looked after her personal needs. She has had a knee replacement and instead of helping her rehabilitate this OT set her up to fail by suggesting my mother lay in a soiled pad for 10 or 11 hours until a carer comes in to help her out of bed.

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“The OT not only failed my mother – she failed the service she is supposed to provide, to help a patient become independent again. She truly upset my mother by taking away her dignity in one sentence.

“I question how many people this has been suggested to – those who haven’t got family to support or defend them.”

A spokesperson for University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry to hear that Ms Grace is unhappy with her mother’s care.

“We received Ms Grace’s complaint this week and we are investigating it. We take all complaints very seriously and we will respond to Ms Grace fully once we have looked into her claims.”