My personal matters were discussed by some staff members

Whilst admitted to Brockham ward in late March, I was made to feel intimidated by certain staff members who I felt were chatting/gossiping about my private/personal matters with other staff members. I believe the 2 staff members in question were warned many times by a concerned staff nurse who was looking after my best interests and was most certainly adhering to hospital policy. I cannot name the 2 staff members who I overheard gossiping about me throughout my stay. I am an alcoholic in recovery and my children are subject to CP plan so I feel vunerable and am already on anti anxiety meds as prescribed by my GP. I would rather not bother going into hospital and suffer the pain I was trying to get rid of than be publicly humiliated like this


Thank you all in John Proctor ward.

I arrived at Lings Bar from a single room at the main hospital. I was put into a six bed ward, and greeted by two nurses who made me welcome and put me in to bed.

They gave me their names which helped enourmously. Since then the staff have become my friends whatever their status. My questions have been answered honestly and they have never failed in their care.

I have obsereved them in their care of old, infirm, confused patients, and they have managed to get a smile from them.

I hope I do not get ill again, but if I did, I would want to come back to Lings bar.

Thank you all in John Proctor ward.


Great job with my arthroscopy

I was admitted to ward D just over 3 weeks ago for an arthroscopy and I must say that I was treated very well indeed.

I’ve had no problems with recovery and I can’t believe how small the scars are (minute!). All the staff were wonderful on the ward and I’d like to specially thank the anaesthetist and the man who was talking to me just before I went to sleep as he really did put me at ease.

I’d also like to thank Mr Hodgkinson for doing such a good job and am now looking forward to him doing my replacement soon.

A good job all round!


Good food and helpful staff at Tameside

After A&E, I saw the assessment team, I was put in ward 31.

I had broken my left heel and was unable to walk on it so I was getting treatment for this as well as a heart attack I suffered earlier. I stayed at the hospital until doctors were satisfied with my recovery.

The food was excellent and both the day and night staff were helpful. The only problem was that the ward was short of staff so sometimes I had to wait a little longer.

There is the need for more nurses if available.


Left with negative memories

Pre-Assessment: All the various pre-assessment tests and interviews and the interview with the surgeon (Mr A Windsor) were excellent and gave a great deal of confidence to my wife and myself prior to surgery as a result of a rectal tumour.

Day 0: Admission and Operation Day

The admission to surgery and pre-surgery interviews were excellent. As I came round the aura of professionalism and care gave me confidence that I was in good hands and this continued when I was taken into the Critical Care Unit (CCU).

Day 1

My care in the CCU continued to be excellent day and night. I realised that, as I was able to pass wind and that I had virtually no pain, the surgery had been absolutely first rate. I was tested for the effectiveness of the epidural and it seemed to be near 100% effective and I was able to sit in my chair for one hour.

I was taken from the CCU onto a standard ward during the afternoon. On arrival I was still fairly groggy as I was wheeled into this new strange environment. Very shortly after arrival the sister was beside my bed shouting (as it seemed to me) that everything must be tidy, then she tried to fix my epidural onto a mobile stand and on failing to do so and seemed to me to become cross with it and then shouted for another nurse to come and fix it. She also seemed to have some trouble fixing it and there seemed to be a big fuss around me. I found it most disturbing and it would have been even more disturbing had I been of a more sensitive disposition. However, after all the commotion died down I was left without being introduced to anyone and without the nurse call button being left within my reach. I think I was certainly not made to feel at all comfortable particularly psychologically. During that night I needed to use the call button. I called out and the patient diagonally opposite me said I would need to call louder to make myself heard. I tried, unsuccessfully, but then the same patient used his call button. Eventually a nurse came and attended to me.

Day 2

The ward round was at approximately 09.00, the doctors asked how I felt and I said quite good considering. They didn’t look at my wounds or abdomen. A little later I noticed that my abdomen was very swollen and my testicles and penis were both very swollen and becoming more red as time went by. As I had not been warned about this I became concerned. I tried to find out from the nursing staff whether this was serious but nobody could answer. Not until the stoma nurse came round and then subsequently the Enhanced Recovery Nurse that I was told by both of them that it was a normal side effect. (I had been warned about many side effects before the operation but I don’t believe this one.)

I asked for some of the Ensure drinks and informed the assistant nurse and staff nurse that I was on the enhanced recovery programme. However, it seemed to me neither of them knew about either of them. It was not until the night staff came on that someone knew about it and I was able to obtain some Ensure. At this stage I still had the epidural, an arterial blood monitor, an abdominal drain and a catheter. I did not feel like I was encouraged to get out of bed despite the fact that the enhanced recovery programme had that as part of the programme. I did later get myself up and walked around the ward. However, on one occasion I asked for urine bag to be emptied but it did not happen until another shift came on. On another occasion I felt intimidated not to ask as I did not want to encounter what I felt was the unpleasant attitude of some of the immediate staff. This meant I had to carry the bag as there was no facility to attach it on to the mobile epidural stand. On one occasion there was more than 1.5 litres of urine in total and I realised that this weighed more than the “kettle” that I had been warned I should not lift for at least 6 weeks after the operation. The force required to prise the urine bag off the bed frame was also much more than lifting a kettle.

Later I noticed that the abdominal drain seemed to be clogged up and nothing was draining out. I also thought that either my lower wound or my catheter was leaking. (It later turned out that it was the abdominal drain that was leaking directly from the wound site onto them.) I asked the nursing staff to attend to this but no one came.

When my stoma bag was quite full my wife asked if someone could empty it. She was told by the staff nurse that I could empty it myself (I had not been tutored as to how to do this at this stage). My wife said that I had five drip leads dangling loose from my hand and that it was impossible to change the bag without contaminating the ends of them with the excrement. A little later a nurse came and in my opinion very grudgingly, roughly and painfully emptied the bag. In fact I landed up blaming my wife (I think most unfairly) for the pain caused because she had complained about my treatment.

At this stage I feel I had not been given or offered a clean hospital gown (mine was stained with the fluids from the leaking drain), help with, or an offer, as to how I could shave or wash since I came to the ward. My wife asked if that was something that a patient’s family should be doing. After a while a bowl of warm water and a towel was brought.

During the day my stoma bag was emptied for me and a small amount seeped onto my bedding and also seeped through to the bottom sheet. I was made to feel I was being difficult when I asked for it to be changed. It was eventually done after I replied to the nursing assistant’s comment that “It wasn’t much,” by asking if it was alright for me to sleep on it and under it all night.

Later the stoma nurse came and bound up my loose drip leads and helped me empty and change my stoma bag. He also cut off the bulk of the exposed part of my abdominal drain and applied a small stoma type bag over it. Later in the afternoon the drain bag was quite full and I asked if it should be emptied, I was told that it could wait. Later that evening when I lay down the bag burst open and all the contents went over me, my pyjamas and the bedclothes. One of the night staff changed them for me and gave me a clean pair of pyjamas.

In the early hours I read my notes as they had been left on my bed and saw that during the doctor’s round that morning there was an instruction in the Surgical Review section to take my drain out. I note here that it did not actually come out until Day 4 (two full days after the instruction).

Day 3

I emptied my stoma bag but was told off for emptying the contents into the WC, however, I had not been told what the correct procedure was. Later, after asking, I was given two different sets of instructions as to what I should do. One set of instructions was that I should keep it to be inspected and the other that it did not matter and I should flush it away myself.

In the morning the epidural and catheter were taken out and I was put on a morphine drip. This made me very disoriented and unable to concentrate. I was not told that I should move around to help get the bladder operating. I was eventually told this. Later in the day my blood pressure was taken and it was fluctuating considerably. Three different machines were tried and I was told that a manual one would be brought but it did not come. I think I was missed out by the pain control team on their rounds but fortunately a nurse came and realised that I should be taken off the morphine and given alternative analgesics.

I managed to maintain a reasonable frame of mind despite, but not because of, the immediate day nursing staff. In complete contrast a day staff nurse from the same floor came twice and made the beds in the morning, she had a big smile and a friendly manner and after the short periods while she made my bed I felt in considerably better spirits. Generally the night staff were very good. They mostly introduced themselves, acted with kindness and provided a good nursing service cheerfully

My general nursing treatment improved a bit after my wife aske done of the nurses to be a bit kinder to me. Both my wife and myself got the impression that both she and her helper did not want to be there.

Day 4

My abdominal drain out was, at last, taken out.

Day 5

Uneventful, different nursing staff on duty with a different and better attitude and hence better atmosphere.

Day 6

Told I would be discharged and this was conducted efficiently.

I would like to reiterate my thanks for the magnificent core treatment I received, I feel privileged to have been a recipient of it. Whilst this was the most crucial aspect of my treatment, some of the poor nursing care I received did disturb me and upset my family. It is unfortunate that we have been left with those negative memories when all the other aspects of my treatment and outcome have been so positive.


Expertise, care and friendliness from Rotherham Hospital

As a greedy person, I have several complaints requiring visits to consultants at Rotherham General Hospital.

It was the ulcerative colitis which led to my recent hospital stay. Every attempt had been made on my behalf to bring it under control, but to no avail, so after many discussions with both the medical and sugical consultants, I decided to have an ileostomy.

A few weeks ago I was admitted to ward B4 and the next day I went down to theatre and stayed there for the next 12 hours. The concentration and dedication needed for this are beyond belief.

After all that I felt so ill the next day that I did not appreciate it one bit – but that was down to my usual reaction to an anaesthetic.

The care I received from all the staff, no matter what grade, could not have been bettered and they were always cheerful in spite of the mountains of paperwork they had to complete before leaving one patient to help another.

I was given lots of help and instuction with dealing with my new lifestyle and after 10 days I was allowed home safe in the knowledge that I had a back up to help whenever I needed it. My operation was done keyhole, so my recovery has been fast and almost pain-free.

I can’t thank everyone enough for their expertise, care and friendliness during my time in hospital.



I wrote this poem( amongst many others), whilst an inpatient at Lynfield Mount in March 2010. And would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to those members of BDCT staff on the ward, inparticular my consultant my Advocate from BAMHAG, and the PALS, who all worked together at helping me to feel safe again.


These Lilac Wall soften the blow

Of my mind racing – always on the go.

These lilac walls provide space to think

A place I feel safe – when I’m on the brink.

These Lilac walls with too-ing and fro-ing

Lots of People coming and going

A place for me to fade away

Into insignificance for the day

These Lilac walls day after day

Help my anguish ebb away

These lilac walls echo my past

Memories spill out thick and fast

These lilac walls that I cannot escape

Protect me from my past mistakes

Keeping me safe from acting upon

My inner most thoughts of death liaison.

These lilac walls help me work out

And come to terms with what I’m about.

These Lilac walls give me time and space

That I don’t allow myself in any other place

I’m told these Lilac walls are depressing

And for many women – seemingly distressing

I’m told these Lilac walls – with nothing to do

Can cause many women, problems a new.

These Lilac walls could be improved –

To cater for their many changing moods.

These Lilac walls with resources a mock

A service regimented by the hands of the clock.

These Lilac walls for me – have been a saving grace.

Giving me solace – within a safe place

These Lilac walls, offer me dinner and Tea

And at this present time – feels the best place to be.

BDCT Service User

Brilliant care, but long recovery after Mastoid surgery

After years of ear infections I finally got a diagnosis and I had a cholesteotoma removed about 18 months ago. A cholesteotoma is a type of benign tumor of the middle ear cavity and I was told that not having it removed would have run the risk of meningitis, brain damage, facial droop etc. so I had it fixed.

Surgery went well, care was brilliant, surgeon extremely professional, waiting list very short. However, a month or so after surgery my balance system went to pieces. I had vertigo, couldn’t really drive as I had the sense of being about to black out on motorways, of the car rolling backwards when it wasn’t etc.

I returned to ENT and was told that my balance organ was just settling down but it took more than a year before I learned to cope with this properly. It still isn’t right but these days I take travel sickness pills if I am to drive a long distance (Sturgeron, one of the drugs they use to treat vertigo) and it’s OK but my advice to anyone facing this surgery is to think hard, weigh up the risks and be aware of the potential recovery time. I was told that my issues were extremely unusual but my quality of life has been reduced to some degree since the surgery and looking back I’m not sure I would have had the surgery if I’d known that this would happen.


I look forward with hope

I had my operation for cancer of the oesophagus on 2nd February which went very well and I made a speedy recovery. Thanks to the very good nursing and surgical teams around me which excellent advice and support after the operation. I had my last visit with the surgeon on 17th Dec 09. A week later I was admitted with confusion and was found to have lesions on the brain. I was sent back to oncology for tests and scans have since had radiography and chemotherapy in order to reduce the lesions in the brain, fingers crossed I look forward with hope.

All through the treatment everybody has been excellent, however the ontology clinics have been a little slow and I’m not sure how they can speed it up. I’m sure they have a system and I don’t wish them to speed things along and make mistakes. Having said this when you see the doctors they are very good in their explanation of your case and treatment. The City Hospital is very good and seems organised and clam.


Mental health stigma

Last year I was admitted to hospital after having a seizure following a very painful injury to my coxys (which is the bottom of the spine.) In the hospital people were fantastic and helped keep me safe when I was fitting. I was given lots of medications and sent home from the triage ward after24 hours. Feeling very ill I had another seizure in the foyer outside the chemist. People were fantastic and I was taken back to the same ward. Then moved to another ward were I had another seizure whilst lying in bed after been given the same medication as before. Unfortunately, whilst on ward I felt like I was treated by some staff with disgusting behavior after been called an imposter! And it was suggested by one that I had a panic attack and that I was a nut.

It felt to me that, numerous jokes were played on me for their entertainment. One nurse spilt a jug of water over my dinner. One took my blankets away. On one occasion I was not served any lunch and then given a sandwich that was placed on a radiator. I was told by one person to clean the bathroom after somebody had been ill in there and I felt like I had numerous innuendos and remarks made to me.

After all this, what distressed me the most was to see the very elderly lady in the bed opposite to me after asking a nurse to crush her tablets as she could not swallow them, I watched the nurse swiftly glance around then crush the tablet in the palm of her hand before giving it to the lady. Surely this can’t be healthy?

The ward was very clean the nurses were lovely but just those few in particular I felt made my recovery longer and very distressing.

The irony is these people called me a nutter and I felt discriminated against me. If these people think they can diagnose mental health illnesses, then I think maybe they could first learn how to respect people who suffer with it.