"Disgraceful staff behaviour and poor standards"

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

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I was recently taken to A&E by ambulance after I was incapacitated by sciatica. I was given 20mg of morphine, 50mg of diclofenac, 60mg of codeine and 1000mg of paracetamol by the paramedic and it made no difference to the acute pain I was experiencing. I was taken to A&E at 6pm and seen by a doctor at 10pm. I was transferred to the stroke ward as there was space. I was transferred back to the A&E ward a day later for a reason unknown to me. To cut a long story short, in the 5 days I was in hospital: -I was unable to get out of bed (I was barely able to move) I was not even offered a cloth and water to wash myself. -The bedsheets were not changed once. -I accidentally split urine on the floor from a urine bottle, the floor was not cleaned in the whole of my stay, neither was the overflowing bin emptied. -Despite numerous complaints I was given drugs that were not effective in pain relief, it took 3 days for a doctor to change my medication despite repeated complaints from myself. I would often shake because of acute pain and I was unable to move more than a few centimetres. My wife was a nurse and right from the start of my stay repeatedly said I needed the drugs the doctor eventually prescribed, 3 days later. -One nurse gave me some of my medication 2 hours early then forgot my 4am medication. I reminded him at 6am and then again at 6.15 when I was in pain. -I was assesed by a Consultant and sent for an MRI scan. The Consultant said I might have to have spinal surgery depending on the results of the scan. No-one came to discuss the results with me. I had to ask a nurse the next day if I needed surgery. 15 minutes later she poked her head around the door and said, "Don't worry, I've spoken to the doctor and you don't need surgery." On the 4th day of my stay I was offered toast for breakfast, which was fine. At lunchtime the only food offered to me was a single sandwich. The turkey in the sandwich was frozen. For dinner I was given two sandwiches. There was no hot food offered to me at all. I was that disgusted with the whole treatment I received that within 15 minutes of getting home I took out private medical insurance for my wife and myself. I never want to experience the disgraceful way in which I was treated in Durham hospital. I will give credit to the staff on the stroke ward. They were friendly, attentive and tried to help me, even though my pain meds were not right. The problems started when I was transferred back to A&E.

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Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent admission to both the Accident and Emergency Department and the Stroke Ward (2) at University Hospital North Durham in July 2013. Whilst I am pleased to read you were happy with the care you received on Ward 2, I am very sorry to hear of your experience within the A&E Department. We would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is patient.experience@cddft.nhs.uk Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address: - Patient Experience Team Darlington Memorial Hospital Hollyhurst Road Darlington County Durham DL3 6HX If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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