Brilliant doctor – patient care ruined by nurse attitudes and lack of bedside manner

After 3 wks of abdo pain I was instructed by my GP, that if my complaint worsened to go to A&E. 2 wks after that it did, so as instructed I went where I managed to tell the triage nurse “abdo pain & diarrhoea” (perhaps I should have said change in bowel habits). Immediately she threw her head in her hands and seemed to be berating me for going there, “we don’t want you here, we don’t like diarrhoea, this is ridiculous etc”. My GP had told me to do this so I didn’t appreciate this apparent level of unprofessionalism when I was worried about my condition anyway.

I was immediately whisked into a barrier room, with no explanation as to what was happening and no chance to ask if someone could tell my dad who came with me where I was. I had to text him. Nobody asked if I came with anyone. I texted dad to knock on the A&E door where the staff then told him I wasn’t in A & E and that I should be in the waiting room.

Unsurprisingly they seemed to forget about me. They had parked a cleaning trolley in front of the door with no window that had to stay shut. It felt like I was literally put in that room and forgotten about. When dad finally found me, I was so upset and overwhelmed I burst into tears and when he asked the nurse what was happening, she said in what I found an impatient and abrupt way “I did tell you it would be a 2-3 hour wait for a consultant”. Which she definitely did not and if I was that contagious like they must have thought, 2-3 hours seems a ridiculous time to keep me in isolation with my dad being allowed to come and go as he liked. He had to remove his coat but was allowed to bring it into the barrier room with me – is this ‘containment’?

I wasn’t even allowed to the toilet. I had a commode wheeled in, with no toilet paper and had to hold the doors shut while I was using it because the various nurses didn’t knock when coming in. How many nurses were working on my case I don’t kow because there were so many faces peeking in the door I felt like a circus show.

Nurses snapped at me and I felt like an inconvenience to them. One nurse was very rough when removing the cannula from my hand I couldn’t wait to get out of there to be honest even though my case is ongoing.

The doctor was fabulous, can’t fault her one bit. The nurses I met however need to sort their attitudes to patients out. I was worried and upset anyway, fine put your gown and gloves on but you won’t catch anything from talking to me. I won’t bite. I felt like an experiment to be honest. The doc was brilliant but the nurses did nothing to attempt to explain what was happening despite me being on the verge of tears from frustration.

Bedside manner was lacking among the nurses I met. I appreciate they work long hours in a stressful environment but if they can’t hack it they shouldn’t be in A&E. You can know everything about procedures and infection control but if you make patients feel rubbish in the meantime, you are not a good practitioner.


Why did they have to change my treatment?

I was so fortunate in my first gastro outpatient appointment (after a very bad spell in hospital) to get a doctor who took the trouble to study my case. For the first time in over six months the medicine gave me relief from diarrhoea. But this was not to last.

Unfortunately, the next appointment and the one after that was with two doctors who told me straight away they knew nothing of my case. One changed my medicines, which made me sick and my diarrhoea returned. The other doctor’s treatment was worse for me. Why did they not read my file? Why was I not allowed to continue with the first doctor who almost cured me? Please, can’t there be continuity? Especially when I had even written to say how beneficial the first doctor’s treatment was for me. He helped me and now goodness knows what will happen. Diarrhoea is horrible; it has kept me housebound so far.


Appalling Gastroenterology Ward at Huddersfield

I am a patient who suffers from severe and chronic Crohn’s Disease. I was rushed into hospital severely malnourished, deficient and anaemic with an acute flare up of the disease. Although I very much respected and liked my doctors, the nurses were appalling. The mentality was that of teachers chastising naughty children. I was told off because my veins would not tolerate a cannula for more than 24 hours and became painful (as if this is my fault!!) and my treatment was delayed because apparently there were no doctors to resite it (a hospital with no doctors?). I had the same dirty, sweaty pillowcase for over a week and it was wet due to my frequent night sweats. My friend had to change it. My bed was covered in blood, my friend changed it.

I was given an enema so I could have a sigmoidoscopy, was told it was not painful or uncomfortable and would only cause me to clear my bowel. I ended up laid on the floor of the toilet, pulling the emergency cord, in far more pain than even childbirth, it was as if someone was twisting my bowel repeatedly and I seriously thought I would die. (I am not a wimp, I had a child 7lb 3oz without any drugs and I didn’t object despite my labour lasting 24 hrs).

I was brought food that I could not eat due to my illness. I was forced to sit in a chair and told off when I went back to my bed and laid down, but it was so painful and I was dizzy and nauseous to boot, not the sort of condition you really want to sit in a chair for a long time.

I asked for a sick bowl due to extreme nausea, one was not provided. There were not enough toilets (3 for a bowel ward!) If they were in use (showers were in the toilets as well) you had nowhere to go despite having diarrhoea 20 times a day, which is common in Crohn’s.

I had a large infected abscess which required daily dressing and cleaning. Because I asked for a female instead of a male (the abscess was on my bum) I did not get the dressing for 3 days as some sort of punishment. It was then recorded that I had refused treatment and was being awkward. I told the staff that I could not swallow tablets, that I was nearly vomiting if I tried. They insisted on giving me horse pills (calcium supplement) and a terribly vile potassium drink despite making it clear to them I did not want it because I was physically unable to take it. I was then bullied into trying to swallow them and then feeling sick most of the night, under the guise that I would get a report to the doctor of “non compliance with treatment” and could get ejected from the hospital for it. The NHS patient rights leaflet says you have a perfect right to refuse treatment. This non compliance policy mainly applies to mental health patients (I am an ex MH patient) and I believe that they were being like that due to my diagnosis of mental illness previously.

I was not provided with water when I was dehydrated. My friend had to go and fetch it, despite not being allowed in the kitchen for infection reasons, was told by a nurse to “just go in anyway”. I noted that hygiene was bad, hand washing was inadequate, hand gel was applied on its own which does not kill C Diff. Had I caught that, I’d have died. I was not allowed any proper pain relief. Paracetamol and Codeine was given, despite begging and pleading for something stronger. My sister has same illness (Crohn’s) and got morphine. I was told I could not have it despite being in unbearable pain. I was then recorded to have “refused treatment” when I declined the weak pain relief due to it being pointless. My psychiatric maintenance drugs were withheld for 5 days, no reason was given. I could easily have become ill and it is highly stupid to stop suddenly due to relapse and withdrawal symptoms. I am now so afraid of this ward, I would rather suffer at home than go in there.


Poor nursing at Royal Hallamshire ward K1

I am a carer for a person who was admitted to ward K1 of the Royal Hallamshire for surgery. Though the medical care was of a good standard, many other aspects (including the nursing) were less than acceptable. I saw a nurse leave an open drugs trolley to attend a patient with diarrhoea, put soiled paper towels in the bin and then go back to the drugs trolley without washing her hands or wearing gloves. On another occasion, I saw another nurse leave an open drugs trolley unattended for 20 minutes!


Unsatisfied with my care Rotherham District General Hospital

Arrived home from 4 weeks in India where I suffered the last 2 weeks with High temperature, violent shivers and heavy sweating and convulsive diarrhoea. Another episode the following day required an emergency doctor who sent me down to Rotherham District General suspecting malaria where I was admitted.

After a brief period on one ward where I was seen by 3 or 4 doctors, all with differing views, I was transferred up to another ward. I was told it was important to send off stool samples to test for salmonella and did supply a sample and was told the results would be back a couple of days later. When I asked the doctor who came to see me around this time about the results I was told the sample had gone astray so there were no results to be seen. So the doctor who spent less than a minute with me, who I thought knew I was still suffering chronic diarrhoea, stomach pains and rear end bleeding said I was fit to go home. The truth was that I was glad to get out of there, came home nearly as bad as I was when I was admitted. I feel I received no treatment and now need to see my GP hoping for better service.

During my short stay on this second ward I asked for a shower and was directed to a shower room, unfortunately I had to point out to a nurse that there was what appeared to be excrement on the shower floor. In the early hours of the morning I was awakened by a strange old lady entering my cubicle and sitting down on my bed, she was obviously confused and didn’t know where she was, she nearly gave me a heart attack, but where were the staff who are supposed to be caring for the vulnerable patients?

I heard a foreign doctor who had come to attend to the patient in the next cubicle to me asking a nurse for some device the nurse didn’t recognise the name of, so the nurse had to take the doctor to a set of drawers and went through them all until the doctor recognised what they wanted and the nurse then told the doctor that we call this a canular, very worrying situation if a doctor can’t communicate even the simplest of things to staff.

I’m disgusted that the hospital doesn’t seem to have any quality systems in place and what I saw was, in my opinion, a situation of unorganised mayhem. I witnessed on more than one occasion a patient’s alarm going unanswered for up to 45 minutes. I also heard violent verbal abuse of staff from at least 2 patients who I thought should really have been on a psychiatric ward. The staff were as good as they could have been under the circumstances.

It comes as no surprise to me that there have been outbreaks of norovirus at the hospital because the parts of the hospital I saw were simply filthy. In my opinion, this is because the cleaners simply don’t get the time to do the job right.

Statements from managers like the term “we are trying to improve” and “we have to learn from our mistakes” don’t wash with me. The hospital I saw seemed chaotic, and in my case I felt there was no continuity of proper diagnosis or treatment and I suspect the sole aim of the doctor I saw was to look important and clear beds. They wrote a letter to my doctor and I didn’t recognise the person they were relating to was me. I felt that they got the report to my doctor seriously wrong.

Why wasn’t my rear end examined? Why wasn’t I kept in until results from a second stool sample were forthcoming? Why didn’t I receive any treatment for the chronic diarrhoea? Why wasn’t I treated with gastro intestinal antibiotics? I was told there was an infection so why wasn’t it treated? Why was I admitted in the first place if I was fit to go home in the same condition?


I did not hear, see or feel anything

I passed out at home and cannot remember anything about what took place. My husband was with me the whole time until I came round at 8.30am from 1.45am.

I went to Northern General Hospital in an ambulance. I was violently sick plus had diarrhoea. But this was unknown to myself because I did not hear, see or feel anything.

The best bit was when I came round and heard my husband’s voice. I don’t think anything could change because it all happened so suddenly.


Superb care at Charing Cross Hospital

After more than a week with serious diarrhea I made an appointment with the on-call GP at Charing Cross Hospital at Hammersmith and when I saw the doc, I showed evidence of dehydration, so was admitted to A&E and put on a drip.

I was in serious distress and pain when I arrived and I received the most sympathetic and reassuring care from all doctors, nurses and orderlies. Everyone was so kind, talking me through what would happen, and to my surprise actually admitting me to a ward after some tests.

I ended up staying for 48 hours in hospital where the staff in 5 West were so good to me, responding to any query I might have quickly and even innovatively (when it came to my contact lenses we had to come up with a solution for storage). As I had come to hospital unprepared, staff also supplied a few toiletries and things to get through my stay, so I felt completely cared for.

I ended up arguing to be released on Sunday night – I was due to stay till at least Monday, but felt I could care for myself at home thenceforth, and while the staff were sympathetic they were also (correctly) keen to ensure I was well enough to be released. Eventually I was released and sent home in a cab, but throughout the staff were all generous and kind whilst also keen to ensure professional standards were maintained.

I cannot speak highly enough of my experience of Charing Cross hospital. I feel my needs were always paramount, and for what was eventually just a particularly virulent and damaging virus, I was treated with extreme care and responsibility.

Bravo, NHS. Your hospital care is outstanding.


Good care on Adwick ward but too noisy at night

I was a patient on Adwick ward of the Montagu Hospital in Mexborough for the treatment of chest pain. The standard of care I received was generally very good, and the nursing staff could not be faulted.

However, I was moved on to a side ward in isolation, after developing sickness and diarrhoea. On this ward, I did not get much sleep, as all night long people kept making a lot of nosie coming in and going out of the nearby main door.


More respect required at Barnsley District General

I was a patient on ward 18 of the Barnsley District General hospital for the treatment of a fever and diarrhoea.

The staff were pleasant most of the time, but the level of noise in the ward was always high, even at night (which made it difficult to sleep).

At one point, I was quite embarrassed and angry, as I was sat on a commode in my room when the doctors walked in without respecting my privacy.

The consultant needed samples of stools so as to find the root of my ilness. However, these were not taken, so in the end I left hospital without knowing what the probable cause of my fever was.


Good care at QMC

Earlier this year, I was a patient at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham with diarrhoea and vomiting. The standard of care which I received while there was good, and the cleanliness of the hospital was also good. Even the parking facilities at the hospital didn’t seem to be that bad. Most importantly to me, however, was the fact that I felt I was treated with respect and dignity. Thank you to all doctors and nurses on ward D54.