Thanks, Trainman, your comments suggest that I let the hospital off lightly by giving in to my wife's wishes not to make a fuss. The distance that I did go was too far in my wife's view. Of course, the Lead Nurse, for whom I left a message, did not reply.
Worryingly, if all older and vulnerable patients just accept treatment in the way suffered by my wife (and her mood was typical of that being the case), then my logic tells me that some nursing staff might rely on this method of care, and only act as responsibly as they should if the patient and/or a relative takes the hospital to task.