Staff telling jokes about patients in Kingston A&E

I was in A&E with what is now suspected to be diverticulitis. It felt disorganised in the extreme.

I was taken straight through without triage and put directly on a bed because I was in agonising pain. We only saw a nurse an hour and a half after i was given a bed to take blood pressure and pain killers. I had to ask for a urine sample pot because i knew they would eventually require one. Another 30 minutes passed and the same nurse came back to give me a blood test. We didn’t see a doctor for 3 hours (I was crying in pain) and only got one to my bedside because my boyfriend who had had enough, went up and demanded it from the nurses in no uncertain terms. He was so strident we had a doctor there in two minutes.

Some doctors were standing around telling jokes. The one that horrified me the most was that one doctor and one nurse were laughing about a patient because he only had one leg. I was disgusted.

A nurse said ‘I was laughing so hard seeing that stump I had to leave the room.’ A doctor laughing about a patient’s unfortunate physical condition in A&E where they are supposed to take care of you, and there are only curtains for a divide and everyone can hear everything? I just hope that man had been discharged by that point in time. Poor guy. He came into A&E for whatever his problem was and had the doctors and nurses mock and ridicule him.

In the cubicle to my left was a girl who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old who was incredibly ill. She continuously vomited for 2 hours and not one person came to see her other than a nurse to give her bowls to throw up in. She arrived at around the same time we did and as far as I saw no one even took her blood pressure or took a blood or urine sample for the first 2 hours we were there. No one put her on an IV to give her any fluids (she must have been dehydrated).

In the cubicle to my right there was a man who had sever haemorrhoidal problems (there is no privacy because only curtains divide). The doctor spoke little english, it seemed. The poor guy had to describe his symptoms six times before the doctor understood what was going on.

I have been to Kingston A&E before. The first time they were ok (with the exception of giving me antibiotics for an infection with a known resistance, I had to get a private doctor who gave me the appropriate drugs a few days later).


Poor experience of mental health care at Kingston Hospital A&E

My friend and I brought my partner into Kingston A and E as recommened by her psychiatrist, as she was feeling suicidal, and had taken an overdose and ended up in hospital two days prior.

This time we wanted to stop her before it was too late. She has recently been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and so finds it very hard to deal with her emotions and instead acts on them destructively.

We saw a doctor who said she would refer us to the emergency psychiatrists, but we never met this team. Instead we were passed over to a man who told us ‘we’d be fine’ and they couldn’t do anything. He refused to let us meet with the psychiatric team, and when I expressed fears for her immediate safety he LAUGHED and said ‘she’s not going to kill herself!’ despite the fact that she felt otherwise.

We went to speak to someone else to get her the care that she needed immediately to calm her out of her state, and to keep her in a safe environment until she got better. The nurse we spoke to looked very concerned, until the same man saw us, body blocked the nurse from our conversation and said ‘the exit is that way.’

My girlfriend, who just wanted some help, felt so violated and forgotten about, and like she would never get the help she deserved, got set off again into a BPD fit, and turned and ran out of the building. I followed her crying for help as I know how destructive she can get when she gets like this. I called to the man for help, as well as two nurses on the way out and the receptionist.

She ran into the busy road and I had to grab her and pull her back. Not a single staff member came to see if we were ok. I feel disgusted at this treatment. If my girlfriend wasn’t so upset I would have gone straight back in there to get everyone’s names, but obviously I was more concerned in doing my amateur best at convincing her not to kill herself.

Here are the first set of standards the hospital promises on their website:

•Putting patients at the heart of everything we do

•Nurturing the wellbeing of the whole person, respecting patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs

•Listening to patients and their families and responding to their needs

•Showing compassion and empathy

•Treating patients, their families and friends with dignity and respect

•Being welcoming, polite and friendly to all

•Involving patients and carers

•Going the extra mile

•Working to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics

Needless to say, we didn’t receive any of this.


A&E and Maternity unit essential at Kingston

My son was born at kingston and the birth was complicated. luckily we were in good hands and all went well for both of us.

And now that my toddler is out an about the A&E and paediatricians have been wonderful and caring in all our situation. This is a great hospital with really good people with good hearts. they work hard but they care.

Don’t close any of its Units. especially not A&E and Maternity. the reason i had my son at Kingston is that the hospital has the size and the setup to take care of every emergency . that is essential. DON’T LET US DOWN! WE NEED THEM!


Poor care of my elderly father

My elderly father was admitted with a urinary infection.

He ended up with losing the sight in one eye due to infection, being left for two weeks – being pumped full of tramadol for pain – before a surgeon discovered he had an abscess in his shoulder and had to do an emergency op, being left in bed with a full catheter (was bed-ridden) not being empty and then being treated like an idiot when the bed got wet (he was so drugged up on tramadol he didn’t know what day of the week it was! ).

Care was appalling. It was not until we insisted the tramadol is stopped that the abscess was discovered.

At one stage my father went blind – large sign put above his head saying Blind – and cups of tea/water/food were put on his tray but he was never told they were there and, on occasion, knocked them over.

We witnessed dreadful way some staff talked to patients and it broke our hearts to know that our father was being treated the same way – like an inconvenience. On one occasion I went to nurse station about the way a male nurse had dealt with a patient with dementia. The response was – he’s an agency – he’s useless! Well – why was he there then?

Thankfully my father was eventually transferred to Queen Mary’s Roehampton – where the care was excellent.

Daughter from Devon

Prescription collection mix up

A minor qualm in an otherwise satisfactory visit to the Royal Eye Unit at Kingston Hospital:

Upon being given my prescription the doctor told me ‘you can get these medicines from the pharmacy within the hospital’. Unfortunately what he should have said is ‘you HAVE to get these medicines from the pharmacy within the hospital.

I subsequently went home and dropped into my local pharmacy only to find out that I couldn’t pick up my prescription. I then had to travel back to the hospital, thus losing, all in all, over an hour of my time. On top of the four hour waiting time to see a doctor in the first place.

I noticed later that yes, it is written across the top of the prescription letter, but you tend not to look that closely until you’re collecting. It would be great if the doctors could stress this verbally to patients to prevent this happening to other people,


Eye problem and good treatment

My brother in law suffered a sudden loss of vision due to retinal vein occlusion.

As a nurse myself, i have to go on record to thank the staff and consultant at the Royal Eye Unit, Kingston Hospital, whose care and treatment have been exceptional.

Our numerous questions have been answered and the answers repeated as often as we needed. He is now awaiting an operation, marked urgent we have had an appointment very promptly. So thank you to all there.


Kind and competent care from Kingston A&E

I went into Kingston Hospital A & E yesterday evening in a lot of pain from a crushed toe.

I was seen within half an hour by nurse Andy who was brilliant – cheerful, kind and competent – sent me for an X-ray just in case the bone was broken, which only took about 15 mins, then once it had been established that there was no fracture, treated the damage.

I came away feeling much better. Thank-you Andy!

Just one thing – the receptionists were perfectly efficient but could perhaps remember that a smile costs nothing.


14 attempts to get blood

A couple of weeks ago I become sick at home and attended my G.P. I had a heart rate of 150 and blood pressure of 168/113 so he decided I need to go to A+E because I was also suffering from chest pains. I am only 26. To be fair on arrival at A+E I thought that I would have to wait ages but was seen quite quickly. As I was quite ill I was brought straight through to majors to be assessed.

The Triage nurse who assessed me wanted to take blood but after one attempt decided that she would give up and leave the doctor try. I had an ECG in triage which showed that my heart was beating quite rapidly. Once in a cubical I was seen quite quickly by a very lovely doctor. She put me at ease and took a full medical history. She then attempted to take blood and set up I.V accesses as I was severally dehydrated. After two attempts she finally got some blood but it was too thick and she couldn’t get enough to fill one of the three bottles required. She said that she would send them off and see what would happen. I still had no IV accesses. Then she attempted to get arterial blood from both my femoral and radial arteries. She succeeded with little discomfort to me.

However at this point my treatment went down hill rapidly. I should point that I am a final year student studying a medical profession so I know what should and shouldn’t be done.

While waiting to see what would happen next a nurse wandered into my cubical. She started to tell me that a doctor would be in to assess me but there was a big wait and that as I had only been here for about 5 mins so should settle in for a wait. At this point I had been there over an hour and had several investigations and had seen the doctor several times.

They also had my name spelt wrong and even though me and my friend constantly told members of staff that it was wrong no-one changed it. This would later lead to more blood being taken and mistakes being made. When we told this nurse about the name issue, she laughed and said oh that happened earlier. We also over heard her discuss quite loudly with a colleague the size of a pregnant lady. They referred to her as the roly-poly fat one.

After a little while the nice doctor returned, but this time with another doctor. He didn’t introduce himself just went straight into doing stuff. He grabbed my arm and tried to put a cannula (line) into my arm. He then connected it to a drip. He did not flush the line out which essential. The line was not in correctly and the fluid filled my tissues. This must be one of the most painful things that could happen. I asked him to stop. He disconnected the drip but left the needle in my arm. (this is definitely the correct thing to do). He attempted to do it again at another vein. This took several attempts and eventually he set up the drip again. He didn’t explain anymore just walked out. Over the next few mins it became obvious that the drip was not working. My friend went to get someone but she couldn’t find anyone. We then pressed the bell but no one came so we turned it off.

We could then over hear people talking about me loudly saying that they were nearly over the 4 hour rule and someone had to attempt to get more blood. A nurse came in and disconnected the drip from me but instead of disposing of the bloody needle she handed to my friend who ended up covered in my blood. She then attempted 5 times to get blood from me with no success other then to cause my arms and hands to swell and bleed. It was so bad that they had to get me a bucket of hot water to soak my arms in so they could have another go. Eventually she got two bottles of blood. But then to my surprise she left one bottle behind and said that well there’s blood if they need it again. After everything I had been through to get blood I was not impressed.

About half an hour later a nurse came in and asked me was I ready. I was surprised as I didn’t know what was going on and what was wrong with me. He reply was that u can’t wait here. I then asked what I was actually waiting for and she said that the blood they were after taken was not suitable for testing and that I was being moved to a ward to wait for someone to come and take more blood. This seemed unbelievable as it took them 14 times to get the bottle of blood.

When I got to the ward no one ever mentioned blood and again. I was discharged the next day in worse condition than when I was admitted. I’m still sick but refuse to go back to Kingston hospital. I got no explanation as to what was wrong and how to fix it. I know it was a Friday but I think they could have done a bit better than just sending me home. The worst thing was the discharge letter I got. I was allowed to read it and it actually made me laugh. Not one thing on it was true or accurate. It claimed that I was tachycardic on admission but on discharge my ECG was normal (I never had a second one). it claim my blood pressure and pulse was normal (once again not checked after triage, surprising considering that was why I was there) and the last point was that there was no need for further investigation but then it said GP should investigate pain.


Wonderful midwives at Kingston

I gave birth last year at Kingston. The antenatal care was OK, I didn’t have to wait that long when I came in for my check-ups etc. The birth was difficult in places but made so much better by the constant presense of a midwife who was professional but compassionate and who put me at the center of the experience. Very simple things like good eye contact, and physical reassurance – a hand on the arm etc – made a massive difference. It was my first baby but I never felt frightened as my husband and I weren’t left alone at any point and everything was explained to us. At the actual point of delivery I was exhausted and in terrible pain but I completed trusted my midwife – she coached me through it and the outcome was fantastic, it was immediately obvious my son was completely healthy (albeit a little cross!) and I didn’t tear. Thank you Vanessa (midwife). The only negative was when an anesthetiologist came in to give me an epidural, and she was very distant, very slow, and it was a bit scary when she paused just before plunging a needle into my spine to ask ‘have I numbed the area, I can’t remember?’. I was in no fit state to know, my husband almost fainted with the stress, but fortunately the eagle-eyed midwife noticed that in fact she hadn’t, phew – that could have been nasty.

The after-care was fine although I suspect I wouldn’t have had to stay in a second night if they had got their act together to do all the tests and stuff. However the midwifes on duty did give me help during the night when I was exhausted and completely at a loss at what to do with my bawling baby. I wish that partners or family could stay in hospital with you over-night, but I guess that’s just about resources, I was in a single room but most people are on wards and so it wouldn’t be possible.

Twickenham mum