"Good medical care, bad psychological..."

About: The Royal London Hospital

What could be improved

I was admitted to the Royal London Hospital a few months ago following an accident that left me both psychologically and physically damaged. I spent some time in the Intensive Care Unit, before being transferred to another department. I have no complaints about the medical care I received, and all my gratitude goes towards the surgeons and other medical professionals. The same unfortunately cannot be said of the psychological/emotional handling on the part of the care staff and porters.

Not a single "hello" or "how are you today?" in the morning, not a single "Good night" in the evening. People would come and go past my bed and attend to my basic physical needs, bring my medication or perform the roll-overs without a word, as if I were just a sack of potatoes. When they talked, this was only between themselves, as if I didn’t exist at all.

Going to the X-ray room, my bed would be manoeuvred and bumped about without a single "sorry" from the porter, as if they were pushing a dead body.

I remember this carer bursting into our room one night, glancing quickly round then crying out something like: “Oh! This room's got negative vibrations. I don't feel like working in here" before walking away. How's that in the way of professionalism?

It's not really easy to go through all this when you're distressed already.

Because of that negative experience, the image I got of the Royal London Hospital during my stay was that of a huge dehumanised factory where caring staff kept rushing up and down the ward without any regards for their patients’ psychological and emotional needs, or at least for mine.

Anything else?

I am aware that there is the question of understaffing and therefore constant pressure, and that this can sometimes lead to stress and lack of conviviality, but a humane attitude and a kind word every now and then is not too much to ask, is it? It would have done wonders for my morale, and aren’t patients the essential ingredient here?

I’m sure all your caring staff must go through proper induction and training, but to me, based on my recent experience, it really looked like most of them had totally forgotten about what a person-centred approach should have been.

Thank-you for allowing me to give my honest opinion.

Story from nhs.uk


Response from The Royal London Hospital 8 years ago
The Royal London Hospital
Submitted on 29/11/2011 at 16:31
Published on nhs.uk on 30/11/2011 at 04:00

Such behaviour is a world away from the kind and compassionate care we aim to achieve for every patient, every time. We would be happy to discuss your experience in greater depth in order that we can identify and clarify areas and consider the appropriate corrective action.

Regrettably, without knowing the exact details of your experience we cannot provide further comments here. However, if you would like to have this matter fully investigated, please contact the Trust by calling our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 7943 1335 or emailing our complaints team at complaints@bartsandthelondon.nhs.uk

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