Anger over lack of dignity for patients

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A NUTHALL woman has spoken of her disgust after being told her mother would have to get her soiled incontinence pads weighed before being issued with free replacements.

The daughter, who does not want to be named, took her elderly mother to a clinic to sign up for free incontinence pads – only to be told each time she came in, dirty ones would have to be weighed to check they were soiled enough.

The 60-year-old from Nuthall was so disgusted, she reported it to MP Gloria De Piero who said it was the ‘worst thing’ she had heard since becoming an MP and has mounted a campaign to get the rules changed.

She said: “We filled in all the forms with the nurse and then I was told I had to bring 20 wet pads down to the hospital each time so she could weigh them.

“I thought it was disgusting. To go through all that just to get some pads. I was in shock. It’s disgraceful that they can do that.”

The woman visited her mum’s local clinic in Kirkby-in-Ashfield after hearing you could get free incontinence pads on the NHS.

But the nurse at the clinic said they had started weighing soiled pads because people were ‘abusing the system’.

The daughter said: “She’s paid her taxes all her life. My mother has never asked for anything off anybody and then you get this.

“I said to her ‘she’s not going to abuse the system – she’s 84!’

“I talked to my family and we decided we don’t want her out begging so we’re not going to bother. We don’t want her to go through that.”

Ms De Piero said: “It’s the most gobsmacking thing.

“It’s absolutely the worst thing I have heard since becoming an MP. I’ve never heard anything like it.

“I can’t believe anybody would do anything so humiliating.”

Ms De Piero has reported the issue to the national newspapers and is hoping the PCT will do a U-turn on the rules.

She told the Advertiser she had another constituent come forward with the same complaint who is blind and disabled.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Primary Care Trust said changes made to continence services following a review last year were made to ‘ensure patients receive optimum clinical care’.

She added: “The aim of the continence service is always to return patients to continence wherever possible.

“All patients/clients presenting with continence issues are offered a comprehensive clinical assessment with a clear treatment plan.

“Patients/clients with moderate to severe incontinence will be prescribed a suitable product by a nurse as part of the treatment plan.”