"An otherwise great hospital let down by some..."

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

My son was recently treated at Paediactric A&E and on the Starlight ward. After my three year old was informed by his nurse that she was on her own and 'had lots of other sick children to deal with' she testily chided him about his fear of a nebuliser. Over the course of his treatment he was so terrified he wet himself and the nurse had to be counseled on his rough treatment by his doctor. Both of us were shaken and upset but the attending doctor treated us very professionally and empathically and we were moved to the Starlight Ward. The care we received was professional and all the staff including the support team were welcoming and reassuring. Then we began to become concerned about my sons progress and asked for a review with a doctor. The ward was busy but three requests and four hours later I asked politely once more and a younger staff member was quite dismissive ('er why?' with a hand flick as she answered a phone' and rude. In fact it took us to threaten to remove my son for us to get anyone to talk to us and at this point one of the nurses was very aggressive. I know the staff work very hard under pressure but we felt absolutely desperate at points of our stay. Just a few younger staff members who seem unable to cope really let the team down. Unfortunately media coverage of NHS failings and the understandable increase in vigilance over child protection has created a culture of reciprical mistrust between patients and staff. Maybe that is necessary but I would certainly think twice about attending paediactric A&E here as I have considered a formal complaint about our treatment and would be very cautious generally. Its a shame because on the whole the staff here are fantastic from both a clinical and human perspective and I am very grateful for my sons health being generally cared for so well. As an aside, maps of the ward would be great. We took full advantage of the excellent facilities once we knew they were there.

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Response from West Middlesex University Hospital

Dear Clare, Thank you for taking the time to give feedback on your experiences at our hospital, with your young son. We are pleased that overall you both had a good experience. However we are concerned to hear that clearly there was room for improvement in some areas. We will use your feedback as part of our staff learning process but it would be very helpful if we could investigate more fully and if possible identify any individual staff who might benefit from additional training. Please do get in touch via our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) via pals.service@wmuh.nhs.uk / 020 8321 6261. Gerrie Adler General Manager for Medicine

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