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"Arrogance and Nursing Care"

About: Arrowe Park Hospital / Accident and emergency Arrowe Park Hospital / Colorectal surgery

(as the patient),

April 2020. Height of the Covid 19 pandemic. I was brought into Arrowe Park A&E in the small hours of the morning having lost about 2 pints of blood caused by an artery rupturing into my colon. Eventually taken to a ward and was briefly visited by a consultant surgeon who spent all of 2 minutes with me.....didn't explain what had happened or how serious it was. Said I had to have intravenous treatment.

I had handed in a copy of my Advanced Medical Directive which explains I have a severe cannula, stents, plates, screws, metal clips or joints. I asked if treatment could be given any other way. They replied that there was only one way and that's their way, and during this pandemic they haven't time to pander to patients. If I didn't agree I could go home as I was taking up a hospital bed.

What arrogance to speak to a frightened elderly lady like that. Rang my GP on my mobile and told him I was being bullied and my AMD was being ignored. He couldn't help me. Couldn't find anyone on the ward who could get me self discharge forms. I spent 3nights rigged up with IV line totally terrified. Still having nightmares 2 months on. Two more nights with no sleep and no food on the menu that I could eat as I have food allergies 

No one discussed with me what was actually wrong, or how to cope when finally at home. I live alone. Had a ct scan while I was there. Read the discharge letter a few days after getting home and realised they had found a fair sized nodule in my lung. No one told me that ! Now have an app for repeat scan at 3 months.....they'll have to catch me first, even if I do have lung cancer and am disabled. I feel that Arrowe Park is not a safe place for me and I will not be setting foot in there again under any circumstances. I will die at home first before I dial 999. I saw and heard dreadful treatment of patients on Ward 38..... I will avoid it if I can, it seems in great disrepair. I have never felt so anxious in all my considerable years. If I had spoken to or treated my Special Needs pupils in this manner, stressed or not, I would have been out of my  job with a flea in my ear and would never have been allowed to teach again. 

I have read other comments about how phobias are being ignored and belittled. My heart goes out to fellow sufferers. 

I was admitted to Ward 38. While I was there I made several observations and thought I would air these in the format of questions.

Why did the controls on my bed not work?

When will I get the extra pillow I repeatedly asked for? Two months discharged but still waiting.

Why did none of the over bed lights get used during the night when nurses came into our mini ward of four, switching the main lights full on, waking all the patients?

Why did a night shift nurse yell at a patient just sent up in the night by A&E to stop vomiting and declare she was not accepting the patient on her ward?

Why did the aforementioned nurse have to wear fashion shoes that clicked and clacked on the solid floors as they walked all night long?

Why did nurses hold personal loud conversations right outside the open doors of our bay at all times of the day and night. (Topics included how much free mobile data NHS staff could have and how to pass it on to a family member, how many free pizzas were in the staff room, and what to do when your partner was cheating on you during lockdown and you were working shift.....not to mention the flirting with young doctors. )

Why was the towel dispenser so fully packed that you couldn't get a sheet without tearing it to pieces?

Why was the blind at the window in disrepair?

Why was the toilet flooring in such disrepair where it joined the wall that filth had accumulated in a thick layer?

Why did it take so long for nursing staff to answer patients buzzer or to respond to the beeping IV machines?

Why did the staff seem incapable of wheeling equipment around the ward without bashing and crashing into doors, walls and other equipment? (No wonder nothing seemed to work properly.)

Did I see any NHS heroes? No. I saw two nurses doing a good job in difficult circumstances and some really kind auxiliary staff members who were rushed off their feet. I also saw a lot of time wasting and unprofessional behaviour that went unchecked. Whatever happened to occupational discipline, professional pride, caring for humanity and the preservation of patient dignity? I didn't find much of that on Ward 38.


Update posted by Bunnikins (the patient)

I am still waiting for a telephone call from Ward 38 at Arrowe Park Hospital to inform me of the action that has been has taken to investigate my issues raised with PALS as to what I experienced and witnessed in April of this year. Eventually they did respond to PALS, after I had threatened to take the complaint further. I spent nearly an hour on the telephone explaining what I had witnessed and experienced. They kept on apologising, which wasn't really helpful, but at the end I was assured that it would be investigated and they would get back to me with the findings and actions. Still waiting! My advice to patients who are thinking of making a complaint......don't be persuaded by PALS to go down the informal route.....lip service will be paid to you and the matter not recorded thus being brushed under the carpet. Nothing will change for either you or more importantly, the patients who come after you.

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