"Lister ward"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

My waiting time was 34 weeks - not the NHS target of 18. Operation cancelled within a week of original target date so the procedure for a painful prolapsed disc was rescheduled. The admission nurses and surgeon were kind, informative and clear on the procedure in a very straightforward manner. Once on the ward the level of care went downhill, water and assistance was not provided for a few hours until visitors requested it as buzzer was out of reach and patient immobile. A very disappointing aspect was that 2 elderly patients both pressed buzzers for assistance, one due to vomiting and the other needing help for the bathroom and requiring a bedpan. I could have thought it was due to staff being busy and not hearing or seeing the buzzer lights, sadly, that was not the case as I had a clear view of the nurses station and the lack of activity - in the end both myself and another patient had to call out to the nurses who came in and we then directed them on to help the ladies in question. By contrast there appeared to be only 2 nurses on duty from 10pm that night, these two nurses were wonderful, attentive to the needs of the elderly ladies, kind and considerate to all patients when completing obs throughout the night with a genuinely caring attitude, even friendly and smiling at the end of a long shift. The next shift again returned with a lack of care and attention, seeming to rush patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible. Patients concerns and worries about their health were ignored. No communication between doctors and nurses - I myself was advised by a surgeon that an xray would be taken before being released - the nurse some time later announced surprise when I asked when the x ray would be completed as she had my discharge papers ready and knew nothing of any x ray. Physio advice consisted of being given 1 piece of paper with exercises on it and no advice or follow up plan. No advice was given regarding the dressing which had caused an allergic reaction and after waiting hours for painkillers to take home only to be told the pharmacy had no timescale for them to be ready. At that point I was discharged home within 24 hours of my op which was under general anaesthetic and the nurse being aware I had no adult at home due to being given misleading information at the pre-op assessment regarding the length of time required in hospital. On my experience I would not recommend the RBH and would worry about the type of care my friends and family might receive if they required help at this hospital. It really is such as shame as there are clearly staff that do care and provide a wonderful service (they seem to be in the minority) - if only more staff at the RBH were like them the RBH really could give a first class service to patients. As well as the people I have mentioned I would also like to mention the HCA and the ladies who came round with cups of tea - again always helpful and friendly.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for your comments regarding your waiting time and the care you experienced during your stay on Lister Ward. We are very sorry that your experiences did not live up to the expectations that you or we have for the service we provide. We have been working really hard on trying to reduce our waiting time for surgery since your visit with us. None of our orthopaedic patients are now waiting longer than 8 weeks for their surgery so we have made huge improvements in this area. With regards to the care that you have raised concerns about, we are of course very sorry that you experienced delays in getting the help that you needed, buzzers not being easy to reach and assistance not always readily available. This is not the type of care that we expect for our patients. We have introduced a different way of working on the wards during the last couple of months, where the teams ensure they have checked on every patient for comfort and care needs at least every 2 hours during the day and every hour at night. This has helped to ensure we are giving the right care at the right time for our patients. With regards to the personal details of your care, we would be happy to investigate these further if you would like to contact Matron Lynne Buttery with more information. She can be contacted via our switchboard on 0118 322 5111. It was lovely to read the positive comments about our admissions procedures and the two nurses who cared for everyone so well during the night you were on our ward. We will ensure these comments are passed on to those members of our team. The HCAs and the ladies who give our patients tea are brilliant; thank you for recognising this.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story