"St Georges Grays Ward after jaw surgery "

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) / Maxillo-Facial surgery

(as the patient),

During my stay here it was very mixed emotions. I had had 5 hour double jaw surgery and was feeling really groggy afterwards. On my first night, I was having difficulties breathing as my throat was closed from swelling. This also meant I could keep nothing down even water. On many occasions, a nurse on the ward kept bringing me tablets despite me saying I could not swallow them.

The care that really concerned me was the night care. Don't get me wrong. There was one nurse who was a star and really went beyond to help me. However I found the Health Care Assistants I met to be unprofessional. One of the HCA workers after my first night of surgery was seemingly shouting at me for having tissue on the floor. I was so drugged up with morphine I was rather confused plus I could not yet walk because of all the drugs given during surgery. She forced me to stand up and pick up the tissue even when I was on the verge of collapsing.

During my three nights, this one particular HCA made my time difficult and distressing and ignored me when I rang the beeper bell. She came over and switched it off and said I should stop asking for things.

The worst was on the second night when I had not been given nutrients via the IV for hours. I was dehydrated and my heart rate was beating very fast. As they had not checked my sats for hours, they would not have known and they refused to let me see a doctor. I begged and pleaded for a doctor as I felt like there was a blood clot clogging my throat and I could not breath. One of the so called specialist nurses came in and within not even 2 minutes had said I was fine and I should stop making a scene. I then heard her laughing with the nurses on the ward saying she is not going to die standing so she is fine. I heard her say there was no way I was getting a doctor. So I packed my bags and was going to go to A&E as I felt dizzy at this point.

When I made my way, I felt they tried to stop me saying I was a bit dehydrated and needed fluids. I was on the verge of collapsing so I agreed and my mother had to come down to the ward at in the middle of the night to make a formal complaint.

I still feel sick to my stomach thinking about how I was treated and the story goes on. I could not go back to this ward. There was some great nurses but the seemingly bad ones I met made my experience hell. I had my complaint ready for PALS but I just wanted to forget it.

In my opinion, there are some people working in healthcare that really should not be. I also think Grays Ward in St Georges really should look at how they train and use Health Care Assistants. No one should feel so concerned about their well being that a relative has to come down in the middle of the night. If it wasn't for me pleading, I would have had no fluids in me all night. Considering I was tachycardic from post op, in my opinion they should have taken sats more.

The surgeons and anaesthetists I met were amazing and the nurse I had in the recovery room helped me through it. She was great and I wish I could have told her how great she was. Thank you to the good staff there.


Response from St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry to read of your experience and dissatisfaction with some of the care you received and would encourage you to contact the the PALS department at St. George’s Hospital if you have not already done so.

You can talk to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service about your negative and positive experience and further investigation can take place. PALS can pass your thanks to the staff you thought were amazing. Your comments will be passed to the Matron of Gray ward.

Contact details for PALS:

email - pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk

telephone - 020 8725 2453

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