What I think Mayday hospital could improve

1. Improve signage to Gynae department – one sign in corridor, then nothing. Also, sign IN gynae department to show people the way out to main corridor.

2. When there is nothing wrong after treatment, why not WRITE to the patient and tell them instead of making them come all the way to Mayday, wasting their time and the doctor’s time?

3. Why make patients wait what seems to be a default time of ten minutes even when the Doctor is not seeing someone else?

4. I think it would be a good idea if the Doctor could read the patient’s notes before the patient enters the room and not while the patient is being seen.

Also, a poor woman was waiting to be seen today in Gynae, having had a questionable result and then was told that she had been booked into the wrong clinic and that she would have to make another appointment, in the right clinic. (I imagine that she would have a wait for another appointment). No apology and let us see if we can get you fitted in today; just sorry, you’ll have to make an appointment. When asked if that was all right, the lady explained that she had had to take time off work – and would obviously have to take more time off work for the new appointment, to say nothing of the worry. I cannot say that the nurse was laughing afterwards but in my opinion she seemed quite amused. I feel that this no way to treat patients.


Burst ulcers

I was rushed into Rotherham District General Hospital with burst ulcers. I was treated immediately by excellent staff. The ward staff were very good and caring. The food was very poor and has been each time I have been in. The visit from my family was made very difficult due to lack of parking but it has been like this for years. There should be a great effort to remedy this, not expect visitors and patients to put up with it.


Appalling service: North Middlesex University Hospital

In December 2009 I visited the chest department at North Middx University Hospital (NMUH). During the four hours I was there I had an appalling experience that left me feeling upset and harassed.

The whole experience was a shambles. It began with me receiving my appointment letter the day before my appointment, and being told I had to give 7 days notice if I wanted to cancel or re-book. There were no proper directions to the department, and when I arrived there was no general reception area or anyone to ask. It took me over half an hour of wandering through anonymous corridors to find the Chest department.

Once in the department, I was told to take a seat, and then immediately shouted at by a nurse for sitting in the wrong waiting area. The same nurse then told me to queue with a group of other patients, and shouted at us once again for all coming to be seen at the same time. She then insisted on weighing us all, which was completely unnecessary in my case, and meant more queuing and time-wasting. I also felt that she and another nurse were bullying the more vulnerable patients, by speaking down to them and ordering them around. The nurses were very scruffy and seemed constantly annoyed, as if we were causing them trouble.

Upon returning to the main waiting room, I asked the receptionist when I was likely to be seen (my appointment should have been at 1pm and it was now 1.30). She looked completely blank and simply told me to sit down and wait. When the consultant arrived he asked me why I hadn’t had an x-ray, and blamed me for not taking the initiative and going to the x-ray department myself.

At the x-ray department, which was scruffy and dirty, I waited in another corridor with two elderly women and a man in a wheelchair with breathing apparatus. Whenever the radiologist appeared we tried to ask how long we would be waiting, but he simply told us rudely that we would be called when it was our turn. For half an hour we sat and listened to him chat to a nurse before I was finally called for my x-ray. Inside the room, I had to ask him to leave while I undressed, and after the x-ray he wanted to call in the next patient before I had finished dressing.

When I eventually saw the consultant (over an hour late) he was very friendly, although his advice was not particularly helpful. I was then taken to have breathing tests done, where I explained that I was feeling dizzy and weak. However, the person carrying out the test still insisted on testing and re-testing my breathing despite the fact that it was causing me discomfort. She conveyed the results of my breath tests to the specialist, but would not give them to me, saying I would have to wait two months to get the results.

I left the department feeling very upset and ill, and went to the canteen where I tried and failed to get a decent meal, as apparently 3pm is an inconvenient time for anyone to want to eat. Not looking forward to my follow-up appointment next month.


Observations of a volunteer in Walsgrave

I volunteered at the Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry. I was put on the stroke ward as a tea lady. I only went twice. I was quite upset with what I saw.

The first time I went I saw an elderly lady behind screens with a full bed pan on her bed, there was also food on the bed. She kept calling for a nurse but none appeared.

The second time I went, an elderly man called for a nurse, one of which was attending another patient in the next bed. After the nurse had finished he walked past the patient to the end of the ward, and then returned looking at the patient who had called him, and ignored him. I asked the man what he needed and he wanted a tissue. It took me all of 5 seconds to get one for him. The next thing I saw was an elderly man in his bed in the day room. He didn’t appear to have any pyjama bottoms on and kept pushing down his sheet. I tried to help by pulling up the sheet. I was told that we were not allowed to help the patients. This poor man was in an area with lots of people passing through and his dignity was not taken care of.

I have been a patient at this hospital, thankfully only for two days at a time. I found that the hospital is run for the convenience of the staff and patients are secondary. I was able to take care of myself but, because I was in surgery when the food was available, I was unable to get any food out of mealtimes. I was so hungry one night that I begged one of the staff to find me a biscuit or something, which she did. I feel for the poor people who are not able to do this.

We do not get this service for nothing, we pay national insurance, surely we should be treated with respect and dignity?


Concerned over poor nursing care for my partner

My partner was on I ward at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital for 2 days following a vitreo-retinal operation. We feel the after nurse care was very, very poor. No nurse came to check on her for hours. She asked for pain killers which took two hours to arrive. She also asked for something to eat, as she is diabetic and was starving. Also after the operation, when she was on the ward to recover, no nurses came to check her blood sugar and ask how she was. That was from 12pm on the Friday to 3pm on the Saturday. In my opinion she could have died and no body would have known. This is unacceptable.


3p per meal

I have been in Wythenshawe hospital since Thurs (4 days). I am amazed that this unbelievably poor standard of food is given out on wards that have notice boards dedicated to telling us about patients food needs and how to present, prepare and generally make sure patients receive nutritional care. The one meal I asked for, on my first day, arrived on a paper plate and consisted of (I kid you not) five cold chips and a single spoon of a green substance I presume was peas.

I could quite easily make 100 similar portions (only warm) comfortably for around £3.00. Do yourself a favour Wythenshawe, instead of spending time and money laminating and displaying patient food charters to satisfy whatever ISO or equivalent quality assurance you have to meet, spend the money on food, not propaganda. I like some am fortunate to have food brought in, but I am disgusted that many are not as fortunate and subsequently could be under-nourished.

William H.

My operation was cancelled three times!

In January 2008 I was booked to go into NGH for a hip replacement operation. The day before I had my pre-operation I phoned to find where I was on the list and was told by NGH that the operation had been cancelled. One week later it was cancelled again and then one month later again. This was because my surgeon had gone to India to see to the people out there. I turned up on the 12th March for the pre-op to be told for the third time I had been cancelled. I had to write to my MP and secretary of state for health, the hospital executive and my local councillor to complain. I was told the hospital was aware of my case and was trying to get me in to Thornbury Hospital. This happened on the 29th March 2008; two months and three cancellations later. This inefficiency cost me an extra two months off work. It was a very poor service I even got my doctor and my work HR to put pressure on the hospital to get my operation. To be cancelled once is unfortunate but three times is rubbish and someone somewhere should be held responsible. It still isn’t sorted as I still have a limp in my leg.


Surgical Misery at Oldham

Thanks to my GP, who provides an excellent and caring service, I was admitted as an emergency patient with a suspected inflamed appendix to an emergency assessment unit. The care was brilliant from the nursing staff on this ward. However, all seemed to go down hill as I was transferred to two other wards. I spent 48 hours being prodded and poked – being told I wasn’t really ill by one Dr, and should go home, and then being told ‘no’ I was going to theatre. Nursing staff were very busy and unable to answer my concerns and neither the Drs or nurses seemed to know what each other were doing.

I was nil by mouth several times, but due to emergencies coming in my operation was postponed. However, this meant that I went without fluids and pain relief for lengthy periods.

Twice I told nursing staff I was nil by mouth and they told me I wasn’t, luckily I felt too ill to eat- and then medical staff reprimanded me for having water on my table when I was Nil by mouth. I was unable to take my regular medication because of this, and the nurse on that particular ward didn’t know whether it would harm me if I didn’t take it!

I had a scan during a nil by mouth period and had been without pain relief for about 8 hours – it was the most painful experience and the man scanning didn’t seem to realise this or care. I returned to the ward in agony, but the nursing staff didn’t recognise this for over an hour and I was given some pain relief finally.

I was transferred to my third and final ward – which was even worse. And after spiking a temperature and getting even worse, I was advised I would be operated on. Also that I would get pain relief and IV fluids – I’d been without water for about 17 hours by then – it took a further 2 hours, because the nurses were so busy and no-one qualified was free to get an IV into my arm. Eventually I went to theatre late in the evening.

Twenty hours later, I was sent home without information on how to care for myself, the nurse said they needed the bed. My stomach was very swollen and I was concerned, but the nurse just laughed an asked me if it wasn’t it normally like that?

My stomach continued to swell at home and was very, very painful – and 6 days later burst open at the wound site – I had to return to hospital as an emergency admission. Again I returned to the same Assessment ward , and again the staff were brilliant. I had to have my wound opened on the ward and manually drained by the consultant which was horrendous as it had been previously tried by his registrar. I was expecting to go to theatre, and whilst I appreciate it worked – I wasn’t asked if this could happen he just did it. I was put on IV antibiotics – and thankfully they found a Dr who could put IVs in without hurting me!

Unfortunately, I was transferred halfway through my 4 day stay to another ward where again the care was poor – the ward was dirty and the staff did not communicate with the patients or each other effectively. My observations were done irregularly and I began to feel like I was taking up a bed again. In fact, it was said to me by a nurse that they needed my bed. I was discharged to the care of the district nurses who were brilliant. I couldn’t have asked for better care, but the whole process took 8 weeks and left me feeling scared of going into hospital again as a patient.

My concerns are that there were:

– poor communication between medical staff and nurses.

– poor cleanliness: the wards apart from the emergency assessment unit were filthy – particularly the bathrooms and toilet areas.

– doctors not informing you of their names or listening to your concerns – several insisted on attempting to put large IV needles into my arm, despite my explaining I needed a smaller needle. As soon as one listened, it worked!

– being left for lengthy periods without fluids

– being left for lengthy periods without pain relief

– not feeling that I was able to give informed consent, because I wasn’t being fully informed about what was happening to me.

– not being treated with respect.


Unhappy with postnatal care in Cheltenham

After 22 hours of labour and my baby being delivered by forceps I was exhausted, tired and under shock as it was my first baby.

I had a spinal anasthetic and was unable to move my legs. After I was stiched up I was put into a room with my newborn baby where I was left for about 2 hours to bond, without a midwife checking on us as they were all busy doing paperwork. I was then put into a room with 3 other women and screaming babies. All I wanted was to rest which was impossible as i had to settle my baby, who was suffering from injuries to its head from the forceps.

As soon as my baby was asleep I thought I could have some rest but I wasn’t able to sleep with all the noise around me. The next morning I waited for somebody to help me to have a shower and have some breakfast and I was left waiting for about 3 hours. I complained to a midwife that I was hungry and exhausted and asked her if I could be moved to a less crowded room. After another hour of waiting a care assistant supported me to have a shower and get some breakfast but my request of being moved into another room was completly ignored.

When I was able to walk again I had a look around the ward and found that there were other rooms that were less crowed or even empty. My baby’s hair was covered in dried blood and I asked for it to be bathed. I was promised that somebody would show me how to bath it. This didn’t happen until an hour before I left the hospital 3 days later!

The support me and my baby received was very poor when I felt so vunerable. I had to stay 3 days at the hospital and I was unable to recover or rest. I am very disappointed with the standard of care and compassion of the midwives towards patients.

At the antenatal classes I was told that 20 years ago babies were taken away from the mothers for a few hours so that they could rest and the babies got washed and looked after. Why is this not happening anymore? It would have made things so much better for me if I could have just slept for a few hours after being in labour for such a long time.

The hospital experience has completely put me off having more children and left me traumatised.


Gynaecology at Rotherham

In January I was referred back to the Gynaecology department at Rotherham DGH. I had been under one consultant the previous year, but found him to be very unhelpful. On first seeing my consultant in clinic, he agreed that I have a problem and was very helpful. However, when I tried to get a follow-up appointment it was a different story. I contacted his secretary on five separate occasions, even my GP phoned to try and get me seen, before my consultant said that I had nothing wrong with me and I didn’t need to been seen again.

I have been suffering from gynaecological problems for nearly 10 years and have found the treatment I have received (or not!) has been extremely poor. Both of the consultants that I have seen have been very dismissive of the problems that I am having, and because they cannot find an obvious cause, they have both refused to treat me further.

To anyone who is experiencing gynaecological problems, my advice would be to stay well clear of Rotherham.