Unsympathetic Nurse

My wife died at home, just 5 weeks ago. The nurses had just left, but had to call them back to confirm she had passed away.
What happened next makes me so angry. The nurse took me aside. Over her shoulder i could see my wife , who had just died flanked by my weeping sons.
The nurse said she was sorry for our loss and in the next breath brought it to my attention that the hospital equipment had to be returned right away and the unused drugs returned to boots and that i wasnt allowed to keep them!
I cannot believe that a medical professional could be so callous. Im so angry and am tormenting myself replaying this unforgivable scenario over and over in my head.


I am so sorry that you were spoken to like that, it was very callous and unkind . Why on earth someone thought that was okay , is beyond me. Have you spoken to any one in the nursing team about this? .
I know it will be very difficult to get over this, please try and focus on the good times you spent with your lovely wife. Take great care of yourself, x

1 Like

So sorry that you were treated with so much disrespect.one of the macmillan nurses who came out to see sue was arrogant and disrespectful and walked out after not doing anything. I then rang back and got two nurses who couldn’t do enough and asked me to ring for an ambulance,when I rang the usual we are extremely busy but the nurse took the phone from me and forceful told them an ambulance was needed urgently. 5 minutes later it turned up.i later found out the two nurses who turned up were the team leaders and they put the other nurse on displineray action


I didnt want to cause a scene at the time. I felt that would have been disrespectful to my lovely wife.
I didnt speak to the nursing team as i was going through enough at the time. I think it might add to my grief bringing it all back officially. On the other hand i wonder if im letting myself down not speaking officially about it.


You must do what feels right for you, it is absolutely disgraceful that you have been left with this awful memory x


Please complain. I complained when my husband died at home. I called 111 and asked to be put through to the out of hours doctor. I needed someone to confirm he had passed away. That was at 01:28

Several times through the night I had to call back, I finally had to speak to our doctor’s surgery. The doctor finally called me back at 08:45 and said I could come now. Told her do you think. He’s been dead since 01:20

The district nurses also put in a complaint. The lady who dealt with it, was ever so nice.


@Plantman I agree with everyone - you should lay a complaint
My partner also passed at home - you don’t return the hospital equipment, the hospital collects it - they are informed by palliative or district nurse and arrange time to collect.

Telling you it needs to be returned, as though this is your responsibility to arrange and should be your highest priority right now, is just a contradiction of everything a nurse is supposed to be.

And the drugs - NHS idiocracy at its finest.

In hospital, highly scheduled and controlled drugs are under lock and key and requires two nurses to administer a single dose that has to be signed for by both

But in a home setting, half month’s supply of highly scheduled drug and you’re casually told you need to return it to the chemist - that’s your baby to sort out
I’m no psychologist, but is it really a good idea to leave half a month’s supply of a dangerous, controlled drug with someone who just watched a loved one die


Plantman.you need to formally complain about the way you were treated by the nurse


Your nurse might have got it wrong, as we all do from time to time, because we are only human.
What benefit is it to you in harbouring the hurt, playing it over again and again, and creating a formal complaint?
Please try to forgive it, and move on to looking after your grief.
Forgiving things is a great thing to do for ourselves.
That’s what I did, it was the best gift I’ve ever given myself.

But remember that forgiving isnt the same thing as forgetting, its just a lot kinder for ourselves.

It’s not about getting it wrong, it’s about a time and place and bedside manner
A nurse, of all people, is supposedly trained in the correct protocol of these situations.

The district nurse who came to remove the catheter from my partner, after she died and reported what had happened to coroner, also told me about the drugs being returned and the hospital equipment.
However, she took me one side, spoke to be about bereavement and gave me a few booklets and explained what would happen - she would organise the equipment to be collected by hospital
That I needed take the remaining pharmaceuticals back to chemist, as they are only allowed to remove the pharmaceuticals they issued as district nurses of given hospital - it’s a ridiculous policy, but that’s not the nurses fault, they have to follow their issued protocols, as she explained

Forgiveness is a separate issue to the complaint - the complaint is so the nurse is reprimanded and does not continue her handling of these situations - that moment is the most difficult moment in a person’s life. Incorrect handling will one day push someone over the edge
If she lacks the humanity to be sympathetic in those situations, she should choose another vocation


Very well said. I wont support macmillan after the way my gorgeous beautiful late wife sue was treated by a macmillan nurse from scunthorpe hospital.only thing the nurse did was sort sues blue badge out .yet the nurse who was attached to lyndsey lodge hospice scunthorpe where sadly my gorgeous beautiful late wife sue spent her final days there couldn’t do enough to help support all of us and yes she was a macmillan nurse x


Memoriesofus.when we tried to return sues tablets the local boots refused to accept them .so dont know what to do with them. There under lock and key at home


@Martyn2 they are supposed to, but I have heard of that before
They contacted their local GP and GP took the meds for disposal
I’d try the GP route and if they can’t help, they should be able to tell you who to contact


Our local hospice really weren’t very good when my husband was at end of life. All they were interested in was him signing a dnr and sorting the drugs for the district nurses. When he needed a bed there wasn’t one available. I was so disappointed in them.


Im sorry you had a bad experience too.
I cared for Susan at home and the Macmillan nurse was excellent.
It was some of the district nurses i had run ins with.
A few weeks before Susan died, it was arranged that a nurse would come in and administer the flu and covid jabs. Home carers normally get the jabs at the same time, but this nurse did my wife, then packed up to leave. My lovely wife asked if she was giving me the jabs as normal and got a mouthful back ’ Indeed I am not, ive got better things to do than waste my time giving jabs to an able bodied person!’
Im pretty mild mannered, but i couldnt stand back and let the nurse be abusive to my wife:
How dare you shout at my wife in disrespectful manner your attitude stinks and i will be reporting you as soon as you leave’


Paddy53 i am so sorry to hear this. Lyndsey lodge hospice scunthorpe couldn’t do enough to help support myself and family all the way through and even now they are so supportive to us all