"Appalling experience"

About: Leighton Hospital

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I was admitted to ward 10 (ENT) as an emergency referral from my GP. On arriving at the hospital at 5pm I was not seen by an ENT doctor and treatment started until 8 am the following day. The drugs I required were requested from the pharmacy (liquid tramadol as I struggled to swallow due to my throat infection) but were not delivered to the ward for over 5 hours. This subsequently happened 3 more times over the following 4 days. The noise caused by staff on the ward during the night resulted in lack of sleep ( banging of doors, bins etc) and a lack of respect was shown by the staff. Medical records were falsified (the two hourly questions to each patient to ask about pain levels etc) were either not completed at all or completed at the end of each day 'en masse' . On one occasion the results were filled in for the full day in the morning ! During my stay MRSA was found in a patient on my ward and the ward quarantined . After 3 days the ward was reopened but no deep cleaning carried out and during the whole quarantine period visitors came onto the ward wearing no protective clothing in clear view of staff. I complained to the pals dept in the hospital and was interviewed by a member of their staff. They were rude and unhelpful and weren't interested in trying to solve their failings. I spoke with the head nurse (matron) and was told the delays were " just how things work here" , promised to look into the falsifying of the records (but I doubt any action will be taken) and was dismissive of the MRSA risks, saying that as the patient had only been in the ward for 24 hours that no deep cleaning was required. When I asked her about the lack of protective clothing worn by visitors she simply said " we can't force anyone to wear protective clothing , nor can we refuse admission to the ward if they refuse,"! One one occasion my cannula came out of my arm whilst showering and blood was dripping onto the floor. I called a nurse who told me to wait in the shower and she would get help. After 10 minutes no help arrived so I wrapped my arm in tissues and went to my ward. Another nurse, seeing my condition, went to get help but never returned. It was only when a doctor saw me that nurses were ordered to treat the wound and the bleeding was stopped. The lady in the bed opposite me ( who was 98 years of age and suffering dementia) was given pain relief on one day at 6pm. At 11 pm two nurses were stood at the end of her bed debating if to give more pain relief or not. They didn't know if they could because the records did not show when the previous treatment had been given. It was me who had to inform the nurses at what time the previous drugs were administered ( very scary ) The whole experience has been truly awful leaving me in terrible pain for long periods of time. There is an urgent need for a visit from the quality care commission to put pressure on staff to resolve the problems and improve the standard of care.

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Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for your posting. We have recognised the story you have described and confirm that you met with Sue Sarson, Matron, and Nicky Rafferty, Ward Manager, during your admission. Sue Sarson and Nicky Rafferty were able to discuss the issues you raised and apologised for the delay you experienced in being reviewed and receiving your analgesia. These concerns have been taken seriously and it was agreed that an action plan will be developed and sent to you in the next couple of weeks. We were also able to assure you that you were not at risk of infection and apologised as this should have been explained more clearly at the time. We will review the arrangements for undertaking care rounds when patients are clearly independently mobile and capable. We will also address the poor attitude you encountered with the individuals concerned. Once again, please accept our sincerest apologies for the concerns you have raised. I hope you found the meeting helpful and I will write to you very soon. Sue Sarson, Matron

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