"Letting patients down"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

Anything else?

I have just escaped Medway hospital after a week spent mainly in McCullough ward. The previous ward i was in was busy and crowded but the staff were kind, which is the main thing you need when you are ill and in pain. McCullough was dreadful.My overall impression is of a chaotic place with no leadership in evidence. My medical treatment was good,nursing care disheartening. I came home filthy and smelly, only once was I helped with a bed bath, every other day I was given a washing up bowl of water and left to manage as best I could. On no occasion did I see any nurse or similar help any patient who asked for help be attended to at once. It was always someone else's job or they were too busy. Nurses acted as if it was beneath their dignity to help patients toileting. Trust me, no one would chose to pee in a bed pan if they had an alternative. My bay was full of bed blocking old ladies, but that's hardly their fault, in a boiling hot grubby ward their chances of recovery are slim. The old were more of a nuisance to the nurses as they can't move so well and often need the loo more often, clearly to wind up the administering angels. As I saw the old lady opposite me totter unaided on her zimmerframe to the loo, nightie tucked into her knickers, having given up calling for assistance, I really wondered what is so deeply wrong here that this image is seen by staff as acceptable. Presumably because the hospital has unsurprisingly been named as one of the worst in the UK their were loads of agency staff in which added to the chaos as they seemed to change daily . Only after an old lady suffered an epileptic fit, having been left sweltering in a wheelchair for hours and not given her medication, did a central casting Florence Nightingale type head nurse appear. No staff, doctors, nurses etc appeared to have any empathy for the ill. I firmly believe all staff training should include being immobilised, how about a leg cast, and stuck in a bed unable to move and dependent on others for food, cleaning, loo. Maybe that would engender some empathy. The sick are not in hospital on a mission to annoy the staff. I would really hope this feedback would have some benefit. Whoever is leading, you are not leading from the front and there is no other place to lead from. As for me, please God I don't fall into the clutches of the NHS again, but if I do I will be going to Pembury even if I have to hitch...

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Response from Suzanne Brooker, Head of Patient Experience, Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback.

I was very sorry to read of your concerns relating to the poor care and treatment on the ward.

We take pride in being able to deliver a responsive, caring service to all our patients and I am sorry that on this occasion we did not meet your expectations.

I would welcome the opportunity to listen and learn from your experience so that we can deliver improvements for our patients.

I would be grateful if you would contact me to discuss your concerns further.

Suzanne Brooker, Head of Patient Experience telephone 01634 830000 ex 5175.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

We are very sorry to hear about your experience of being an inpatient at Medway Maritime Hospital and concerned to hear some of the standards you mention. We would like the opportunity to address your concerns and importantly, to challenge and improve areas where the high standards we have set and expect are not consistently delivered. Please do get in touch with the PALS team who will get the details they need from you, to enable these matters to be investigated further. Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. It is extremely important to us to deliver good, positive patient experience. You can contact the PALS team between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, by telephone on 01634 825004 or 01634 830000 x5793. Medway Maritime Hospital Team

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