"Made to wait in hallway for 5 hrs waiting for..."

About: William Harvey Hospital

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My partner, who doesn't like to complain, was made to wait in a busy walkway for 5 hrs. When I finished work I brought the kids to see their mum hoping that the procedure would be all finished and we would find her in recovery from her operation. However when we found her she was extremely distressed at being made to wait for 5 hrs in the kennington ward seated on a hard seat. This would be uncomfortable for any one however my partner suffers severe neuropathic pain caused by an accident where she broke her back. And even seated in a comfortable position and on a comfortable seat or chair she is in discomfort most of the time but she puts on a brave face and carries on most of the time. So imagine my anger at seeing her so distressed at being on a stock chair and not even one nurse showing any care to her plight and not one even offering her a glass of water yet alone asking if she was ok. When I arrived she had just about had enough and was about to cancel the operation as she was in such pain and distress. I understand the surgeons who were operating on her were themselves under a deadline to get started but their abruptness was totally un called for and unsympathetic to my partners state or condition. One of the nurses that was in the area at the time seemed completely unsympathetic and said that it was "normal" for a patient to be treated like this. I found this disgusting and had to hold my tongue as I was about to get extremely angry - I know this would not be tolerated and would cause my partner to have her procedure to be cancelled and it would probably have upset her and the kids so, like I've said , I bit my tongue. I do not know what I want the outcome of this to be - I can't imagine one that would benefit my partner now. But would like the people who organised, if that's the right word, this mess to be held to account for it. And , not out of petty vengeance, to be chastised suitably so that it prevents this from happening so often. So often infact that it is deemed "Normal" by one of the William Harveys own staff.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing feedback about your partners experience and I am very sorry to see the account of your experiences. Please do email me and I will investigate this further for you. My email address is julie.pearce1@nhs.net.

This is not the standard if care we would expect to provide and I am disappointed to see how the staff involved managed the situation. We take feedback very seriously, it provides us with the opportunity to address poor organisation of care, and also any specific problems associated with staff attitudes or behaviours.

We sometimes find that staff are unaware of the impact of their behaviour on patient experience, and this type of feedback alongside a gentle reminder of the standards we expect are often enough for the staff involved to think about how they talk with and care for patients.

I do hope your partner is recovering from her operation.

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Response from William Harvey Hospital

We are extremely sorry to hear of the situtation that you encountered and understand your upset for your partner. It is important that we learn from all feedback and whilst your comments will be recorded and reported back to the division involved in your partners care, and senior members of staff, we would urge you to contact the Patient Experience Team to discuss your concerns and perhaps the best way we can help you to provide reassurance for the future. All feedback is important to us, as all feedback can be learnt from, and we would like to reassure you that raising concerns does not have any negative impact on any of our patient's care in the future, but is welcomed as a tool for improvment. The contact details for the Patient Experience Team are ekh-tr.patientexperienceteam@nhs.net. We hope that your partner is recovering well from her procedure.

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