A loving son has said he is disgusted with the way his elderly mum was treated when she was admitted into Lewisham Hospital – saying she was left with no dignity after she was kept in a “holding bay” between two other patients for three days with no privacy when using the commode.

Jimmy Chrysanthou explained that a few weeks before this, his mum Panayiota had been admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital after a fall due to a drop in blood pressure.

She was kept in for a week before she was discharged and dealt with as an outpatient with a blocked valve, but Jimmy said that she was still really weak and had not eaten for two weeks.

She then told Jimmy that she "felt like she was dying" and was taken to the Oak Ward in Lewisham Hospital on April 22.

On arrival at the hospital, Jimmy said his mum was placed in what he described as a "holding bay" for three days, devoid of essential amenities such as a buzzer for assistance, places to link up oxygen supply, or privacy curtains.

Jimmy told the News Shopper: “We've asked for a commode, and they did provide it but they didn't even bother to say, look, you know, we'll bring a screen to put in front so nobody can see her.

“So, my mum's having to use the commode with the patient next to her and the patient's daughter watching me having to wipe her.

“They acknowledged the complaint, but this can't keep happening in hospitals. People like my 88-year-old mum shouldn't have to go through this.

"It's taking away their dignity.”

A spokesperson for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust says it is "clear" they didn't get things right here, and they acknowledged that "this isn't good enough".

Jimmy claims he was promised his mum would be moved into the bed next to her once a patient had been discharged.

However, he explained that he then had to fight his corner to have his mum moved to a bed after they "almost prioritised a new patient" over his mum who had been waiting days for a space.

Before her discharge, Jimmy claims he was reportedly told by a doctor that his mum needed to be on a six-hour drip, but after just 40 minutes, Jimmy claims it was removed.

Jimmy says the hospital sent her home, leaving her still in a poor state upon discharge as she still was having issues with her heart and blood pressure.

Jimmy described his mum as a once-active, family-oriented woman before her fall who used to cook for as many as 13 in her Greenwich home.

Jimmy also highlighted concerns regarding the hospital's understaffing issues, which left nurses overwhelmed and patients unattended for prolonged periods.

He added: “There are nurses that have been taken away from their work because the dementia patients that have come in with a carer and carers just disappear for two hours or more and leave the nurses to look after that patient. They are just so overworked.

“I'd like there to some sympathy and compassion for elderly people. They wouldn't want this for their mother.”

He gave examples of incidents of neglect, including patients soiling themselves due to lack of assistance as staff were reportedly unable to attend to her as they were already attending to patients.

He added that he overheard that patients were walking around with Covid and without masks, leaving him extra concerned for his mum’s health.

A Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear about the experience that Mr Chrysanthou's mother had at University Hospital Lewisham.

"Our commitment at LGT is to put our patients first at all times, caring for them with respect, empathy, and dignity. 

"However, it is clear that we didn’t get this right for Mrs Chrysanthou and this isn’t good enough.

"We would encourage the family to make formal contact with our PALS and Complaints team as this will enable us to carry out a thorough investigation and support Mr Chrysanthou through the next steps.”