We will never be able to express how extremely grateful we both are

I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the care my partner has received from the staff at the QMC. He was transferred via air ambulance just over 3 years ago after a near fatal crash.

The one thing I am forever thankful for is that he was taken to the QMC at Nottingham. He was very poorly and the AICU unit staff was fantastic.

However his recovery was a long term journey culminating in his discharge today.

I would like to highlight the dedication, skill and amazing care we have experienced over the three years. Mr Forward, our orthopeadic consultant, worked on my partner from the time he was admitted and he has been amazing. He has explained everything to us clearly and honestly but with compassion. We have had some scary times but Mr Forward has always been supportive. He came into hospital on his days off and was always available to discuss his care.

My partner was moved onto ward F19 (now ward C5) and all the staff on the ward were wonderful. They fully involved me in his care, allowed me to be with him out of visiting times when very poorly, encouraged me to help with personal care duties and always treated us with respect and kindness. The staff on C5 and Mr Forward gave my partner his life back and we will never be able to express how extremely grateful we both are.

I wanted to share our experiences so that these wonderful professionals are recognised for the differences they make.

So thank you for everything.


The staff have always been good to me

I went into Northern General Hospital because I’d been having fits and they did an operation on me which put metal plates in my head after I fractured my skull in an accident. The staff and support worker gave me all the details about the operation and they operated on my head and mouth. I’ve also been to hospital for a hernia operation. The staff have always been good to me. I now take tablets to stop me from having seizures.


Bad attitude from the staff in A&E

I had an accident and called ambulance, which I can’t fault the service at all. But as soon as we arrived in the A&E, I felt it was too chaotic. Had to wait about 3 hours to be seen by a doctor, for only 2mins examination. Then X-ray. Then waiting for a long time to get the doctor to come back to me. Luckily, I did not break any bones or hurt my spine as initially feared. However, I just felt strange as I cannot feel my hands and felt dizzy.

I felt the doctor was very quick to send me home; even after I told him I did not feel well. He ordered me to walk out, which I tried even with my back injury, but I fell down as soon as I was out the A&E because I lost balance. It was like I was drunk. The receptionist very rudely ordered me to stand up and even called the security guard because she thought I was drunk. One of the guards kept saying I want to stay because A&E looks like a 5* hotel!

I was brought back to A&E, although doctor admitted that I might be influenced by one of the strong pain killers he gave me earlier, I took three different drugs I had no idea what they are for. They insisted on ordering me taxi and refused to help me to the waiting bay. I had to sit outside in the cold winds for 4 hours until I get some strength to walk very slowly then get on the taxi.

This is the first time I had experience at A&E, but it was very disappointing. I felt like I was treated as dirt and that they wanted to get rid of me a.s.a.p.. no matter how many times I told them I was not feeling well. I cannot feel anything like a proper care. I know they are working hard and it was very busy, but a bit a care and kindness will not do any harm. I felt there was a bad attitude and rudeness from the receptionist, doctor, nurses and security guard.

The whole thing was a nightmare!


Care of the elderly

In November I was admitted with gall bladder problems. Although the care given to myself was adequate (I am 68) some of the more elderly ladies on the ward were treated with a lack of compassion.

An old lady of over 90 had to repeatedly wait for toilet facilities to be taken to her.

I felt some of the nurses thought she was a nuisance and seemed to deliberately make her wait.

One old lady was shouting out how cold she was but nobody came to her aid. I had to get out of bed and walk the full length of the ward to tell them she needed assistance.

My husband has also been in the hospital. After an accident, he had to wait three days to have his wound drained. Okay except that he was on nil by mouth for those days and each day his operation was cancelled at tea time. However, there was no food available for him to eat. He had to ring me to bring food into the ward. A packet of sandwiches could have been put on one side for him. He said he felt like the invisible man. What happens to elderly people who have nobody to take food into the hospital?


Excellent service by professional staff

Taken in following a cycle accident, last time I visited this hospital’s A&E was about 12 years ago.

They have definitely improved, I waited about 30 mins for initial assessment. Then I saw senior nurse for x-ray and assessment. Left hospital about 2 1/2 hours after I arrived.

All the staff I met were professional good humoured and provided an excellent service.


Accident & Emergency Needs Improving

In the last four weeks, I have unfortunately been to the A&E Dept twice with my adult daughter. Both times, I found the time sat waiting in the waiting room totally unacceptable, Registration and triage were good, not too long to wait, but waiting to see a Doctor in Minor’s is appalling.

To add insult to injury, when we were finally called into minor’s the calm and quiet is deafening, two rows of computers with Doctors and Nurses looking at them, and writing, this is wrong, they should be seeing the poorly people waiting to be seen in the waiting room, it’s totally unacceptable. It’s a chair moving exercise, and it’s unfair to people who are sick and needing medical treatment, otherwise, why would they be there? certainly not for the good of their health!

Everyone is kind, and apologetic, but I’m afraid it’s not enough, someone needs to do something, it could be more efficient, if someone cared enough. I suggest one of your employees tries the experience, believe me, if we had a choice, we would not be there, genuine accidents and emergencies should be treated as such, and not left in a waiting room to get worse, and feeling like no one cares. If you want your hospital to be complimented on it’s care and efficiency, then do something about it, make A&E a place where people do not dread to go, but somewhere where they know people care,

connie west

Chronology of Orthopaedic/Plastic surgery care following serious accident

Whilst this incident dates back a couple of years, my motives – far from vengeful, as these doctors have been outstanding in their skill – stem from a desire to share what may be a “hidden rot”, and so prompt changes for the care of future patients like me.

I am a professional man of Afro-Caribbean origin in my mid-30s, who sadly concludes race and racial preconceptions contributed to the manner in which medical staff decided to approach my care, in what was my first true experience as a patient. Disturbing, clearly endemic, and seemingly a “wilful oversight” at this hospital, my overall impression was that far too many seriously unacceptable incidents occurred during a patients stay here, with most either too: old, vulnerable, dependent, or just plain “proud” to raise complaint.


July 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

My “baptism-of-fire” was with an at first unfriendly, and openly suspicious night-nurse – who eventually just came right out and asked whether I had been fighting?

July 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

Incredibly hostile, she came on shift visibly seething. Due to my vulnerability, and pain-based high overnight dependency, worried I asked her shift colleague if she could attend to me instead. I later witnessed her explode at a patient who was just trying to calmly explain his pre-admission medication, an observed 5 minute tirade.

July/August 2006 Nurses (Ward)

A completely bodged ward closure-and-transfer whilst in-surgery, saw all my belongings including a portable TV and fan, misplaced. On my return to the SHD (Surgical High Dependency) unit it was only the visitation of relatives and the invention on our behalf, of a ward manager, that my belongings were recovered. An apparent firm chat with less-than cooperative ward staff found these items relegated to a side room, with fan in use elsewhere. Amazingly in front of both, relatives and I, a disagreement also ensued between this manager and a pony-tailed nurse who, quite arrogant her in manner, seemed to imply it was I that was at fault.

August 2006 Female Nurse (SHD unit)

Following transfer to this unit, I was left in severe pain with sleepless nights. I was one of two patients attended to by this nurse, another two by another nurse on the ward’s far side. From the start, my nurses attitude toward me was one of reluctance and apathy, this in strong contrast to her other charge. She made me feel reluctant to ask for the simplest of assistance by her uncaring attitude, and toward the end of my stay, literally just began wondering off the ward actually when I had requested help, for 10-15 minutes at a time. I rarely requested her help, but unable to stand anymore began requesting the help of the other nurse who, though very busy, was exceptional in her care of me. I would seriously go as far as to actually question the appointed nurses suitability for this post.

August 2006 Female Agency Nurse (Ward)

From the moment she came on duty she seemed to take great exception to me by her attitude, this though we had never met. Any request for assistance was met by an unashamed reluctance to help me in a short, rude and abrupt manner of communication, vague treatment, or as on most occasions by just completely ignoring me. I actually began to think she hated me, as she openly showed the polar opposite manner to all other patients. There was only the exception of an African lady patient, who was to later report to me experience of the same behaviour. She duly cited colour prejudice as a suspicion, she and I incidentally being the only non-white patients on this full ward. From my experience, I can only say it seemed a plausible possibility.

August 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

Shortly after a very emotional visit by my mother and co, this nurse had the nerve to – whilst helping me onto a Zimmer-frame with another colleague – patronisingly repeat the words: “So you a mummy’s boy init!” in this unprofessional “street-style” manner, that she perhaps thought I might be receptive too. I looked in disbelief at the colleague who just remained quiet, before enlightening her that I was unashamed of displaying affection for my mother – livid this should even need explaining to a nurse.

August 2006 Female Physiotherapist

In stark contrast to her colleagues, I found this young lady’s behaviour toward me quite arrogant and rude. She seemed unable to grasp I could not do more than my pain permitted, one occasion persisting discourteously in a petty disagreement in front of all my relatives. She even sent me down to the Ophthalmic Clinic with out assistance to help me into/out-of my wheelchair, later blaming what became an awkward incident on me.

August 2006 Female Nurse (Ward) / October 2006 Female Nurse (Clinic)

Contrary to guidance offered in their ‘Information for in-patients’ booklet, I was astonished on the two occasions when I politely brought the issue of hand-hygiene to nurses. Once, having witnessed substantially handled bay-curtains prior to my treatment, the other witnessing my wound-dressing repeatedly interrupted to answer door-knocks – opening and closing an office door. In response, I was angrily snapped back at, throughout which all I could do was to attempt to reason and explain my concerns to calm the situation down. I would strongly suggest that all admissions, including emergencies and transferrals, are issued this booklet on arrival, as I was not.

January 2007 Female Nurse (Ward)

A later follow-on overnight-admission landed me in care of a night-nurse who presented incredibly rudely on the only two occasions of contact.

The first, having settled down sleep following a ‘lights-out’ call by nurses, I was awoken by this nurse at about 11pm, walking over to my bed announcing loudly and rudely “OK boy!” before brusquely attaching ‘ID wrist-bands’. I felt embarrassed, then insulted, as I noticed her soon after approaching two other patients, more calmly, and with the words “All right my dear”. Too tired, I just tried to get back to sleep, but was again awoken at 3am in exactly the same “OK boy!” manner, this time with the overhead lamp direct switched-on right into my face and accompanying the words “Canula, Canula”. I looked round dazed and in disbelief at this woman’s behaviour, so abrupt it had awoken the patient next to me, though before I knew it she had grabbed my left hand and proceeded to apply an excruciating painful and long needle in preparation for a drip. I was astounded by what I was experiencing, something akin to a prison camp, though as if not insult enough, when the awoken patient enquired as to why I required this and not him, she had the absolute nerve – mid-application – to turn round and tell him it was because he was in better health than me, before chuckling to herself. On the contrary, the drip-necessity was purely due to an earlier potentially fatal ‘pulmonary embolism’, prior to which I was in exceptional health. But for my vulnerability, I can assure I would not usually tolerate such indignity.


As a long-distance hospital-transport-dependant patient, I was for a short period dependant on this hospital’s own patient transport service.

October 2006

Right outside my mother’s home and in front of my mother, regarding a chat about my deciding whether to take with me warmer clothing, the driver commented out loud: “You know what us black people are like…”

October 2006

Again, this time at our doorstep and in front of my mother, regarding a prior request for a car (not van) due to rear passenger-seat comfort of injured leg, the driver comments to me a number of times and at volume, “What d’you think you are, posh or somethin?” On this occasion I was pushed to answer back with an explanation with some anger. The same driver also swore at volume with complete disregard, into his phone all the way down the M4 motorway.

November 2006

This decisively “Mute” driver displayed the most frightening erratic and dangerous driving all the way down the motorway and into London. At one point we were ‘driver-side wheels in the corrugated central-reservation border’ at around 70mph, not to mention brake slamming in the urban areas, which on one occasion literally sent me flying.

January 2007

This rude and arrogant driver in a calm discussion as to which routes ahead seemed clearer, out-of-nowhere asked me if I would like to get out and walk, snapping I could go one way, and he’d go the other. I refrained from any further conversation with him after this. He later kept asking me to do the window up, though when I explained to him that I felt sick, reminding him of his duty to care and deal with such incidents should they occur, was again snapped at, this time warning me not to be sick as I was a ‘transferable’ patient anyway, whatever this meant.


As mentioned, criticism of this Orthopaedic and Plastics team has always been grounded in some dilemma as surgically – the skill of these doctors has been nothing short of exceptional. Alas, entirely unnecessarily this has too often contrasted sharply with their ‘bedside’ manner, and as such feel duty bound to highlight experiences on behalf of the less vocal.

July 2006

On initial transfer to Charing Cross, I recall feeling what can only be described as a feeling of contempt from this group. Visiting consultants just stared at me as if I was inhuman or a ghost. A stone-faced female plastics consultant or registrar throughout came across as abrupt and unfriendly, to the point of being unusual. As strange as it may sound, I actually felt as if I was being judged on my accident.

In particular, I vividly recall my experience of a prolonged panic-attack brought on by breathing and cooling issues, consequent of a Pulmonary Embolism. In this enduring memory, I recall these doctors and nurses just stood round my bed throughout, staring at me as if in disgust or as if some sought of weirdo – a picture I will never forget…

August 2006

During my stay, sympathy was felt for a concerned doctor who had accidentally pricked herself with a needle she had used on me. Whilst happy to compliantly answer an apparently routine health questionnaire in relation to the incident, I was alarmed and shocked to be asked questions basically inferring I could be homosexual. At the time whilst vulnerable and dependant I still genuinely wanted to help, but some time after leaving felt quite offended, even violated that I had been cornered this way.

October 2006

Months later, I was to attend my first fracture clinic as an outpatient. Here a simple enquiry as to how long they would expect to retain an excruciatingly painful piece of metallic, surgical apparatus through my right leg was unbelievably insensitive.

I was abruptly and coldly just told as long as possible, as otherwise my leg could break again leading to amputation – though this, rather than stated, instead comically indicated with a finger-knife action across my leg and, believe it or not – a whistle!

November 2006-January 2007

Successive attendances as an outpatient had felt akin to a cattle market, with all the staff friendliness and dignity to match, though the final straw arrived for me on attendance of my “decidedly” final – March 2007 clinic.

March 2007

Following the usual wait plus an additional hours wait alone in an assessment room, an attempt to ask a number of predetermined ‘Quality-of-life’ questions, actually quite dear to me, was again slighted. I was just made to feel hurried and my questions trivialised, and this from a consultant I had until then held head-above-the-rest. To my anger he commented that we guys always wanted more, as if not individuals but one homogenous group, before eventually just walking out citing urgency of schedule.


Throughout my stay and after first being told I might not make it, I lost count of the numerous times (well into double figures I kid you not) the mantra “You could lose your leg” was repeated by these doctors, practically drummed into me to the point I literally had to blot it out to steady both morale and sanity. This of course continued into outpatient status, even adding that at any other hospital I would have probably lost my leg, then citing an envisaged femur surgical-correction as a “loss” potential.

Their policy, at least verbally, was one of astonishingly cold, matter-of-fact negativity toward my recovery, one consultant telling me – I will likely “never” bend my leg again, another – I will “never” recover sensation following an under-arm operation, “never” this, “never” that, “never, never, never” – all of which I have proved wrong.

I also felt the success of the operation seemed to oddly remove any right for me to question or query issues concerning my own body – as if I should just be thankful.

I am not naïve in recognising a perhaps litigious wary “prepare-a-patient-for-the-worst” thinking behind their approach, though it is one thing to “air-on-the-side-of-caution”, and another to denigrate. I would like to think these people were glad of my recovery, though a more cynical me would ponder the thought of some power-driven attempt to further distress me. I even actually recall first, the look of anticipation, then surprise on a doctors face, my having showed no reaction to being told hopes of a then discharge were instead dashed. I genuinely can not understand why people, who I am sure deep down do want to save life and limb, feel it necessary to inhumanely convey such contortion, in such a disturbing and callous manner.


Accident & Emergency department at Airedale General Hospital

Having waited for over three hours for my 6 year old daughter to be examined by a doctor for a head injury and being told that we had to wait a further hour before she could be seen. My daughter became very upset as it was approaching midnight. I informed staff that I was taking my daughter home, as clearly in their eyes she was fit and well, only to be told that I could not take her home nor could my GP examine her the following day, with it being a child and a head injury. From admission and during the waiting time my daughter’s injury was not examined nor was she offered any pain relief or any member of staff coming to see if her condition was ok or if it had deteriorated. What I fail to understand is that despite the Government pumping millions of pounds into the NHS, the service delivery remains very poor.

I questioned the role of the Triage Nurse, surely he/she is able to advise parents following an examination of the injury (if and when they carry out examinations) as the best cause of action, ie, whether to wait or to go home with appropriate information.

Patients should be given a choice and this should be explained clearly, instead of making people wait for three to four hours. There were other parents in a similar situation to myself and they too felt angry and frustrated. Frankly, the service and care provided to patients is disgraceful. From what I saw the Staff were busy doing nothing, chatting and loitering around. In my opinion the whole system is poorly managed and run.


The Good & The Bad of NHS

My husband was recently admitted to the Northern General Hospital after having a serious accident. Staff in A&E were outstanding and could not have done anything better. They were caring and considerate both to my husband and my family. My husband was transferred to Huntsman 5 later that day after surgery and again staff there were excellent.

However a week later when my husband was admitted to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital for facial surgery it was a different experience altogether. When we arrived at the hospital we were told to take a seat, 20 mins later we were shown to a ward and my husband was told to choose a bed, he was asked his name and it was confirmed that he would have surgery later that day. He was then told that someone would be along shortly to book him in. After waiting an hour he decided to get himself undressed he put on a hospital gown got into bed and went to sleep, after 3 hrs staff finally realised that he was there and came to book him in.

Staff on the ward did not seem to have a lot of compassion for their patients, one in particular who actually told my husband she would have to miss her tea break if he insisted on having a dressing on his arm changed! despite his consultant being specific the wound had to be checked for infection every 48hrs.

That same day he was left for hours in excruciating pain due to a blockage in his stomach, medication that had been prescribed and should have been administered before his surgery the previous day had not been given. It was only when I complained and said he could no longer cope and needed to see a Dr  that the same nurse agreed to contact someone to come and see us. During the 3 days my husband spent in this hospital he was not offered a wash at all and came home dirty and smelly!!