A woman was so unhappy about the level of care nurses were giving her elderly mother that she hired private carers to work undercover and look after her.
Acting out of desperation, Annette Townend spent £1,000 hiring private carers to give her 82-year-old mother the attention she felt nurses at Bradford Royal Infirmary were not.
Sheila Smith’s liver and kidneys were failing because she had not been eating or drinking, and overworked nurses at the hospital did not have the time to spend with her.
After being told by a doctor her mother would be dead within days “if something wasn’t done”, 55-year-old Mrs Townend hired the carers and told them to pretend they were relatives or friends.
Dressed in normal clothing, the carers worked two-hour blocks three times a day for nine days, feeding Mrs Smith, giving her fluids, taking her to the toilet and keeping her company.
Mrs Smith recovered and was able to go home three weeks later.
A spokesman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry to learn of Mrs Townend’s concerns about her mother’s care.
“We set high standards for ourselves and aim to get every patient’s treatment and care right, and in most cases we do.”
Mrs Townend said: “I am certain my mother would have died if the carers had not come in and looked after her”.