"My experience as a relative at Lewisham"

About: University Hospital Lewisham / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My husband was taken to Lewisham hospital A&E in an ambulance. The ambulance staff were excellent, keeping updated about what was happening.

However, the attitude of the nurse and the first doctor who attended my husband was appalling. There was hardly any information given to me or my husband as to what was happening at first and why. When I inquired what my husband blood sugar level was on the blood gas, the doctor responded I shouldn't worry.

I mentioned to him that I was a nurse and had some understanding about blood results. He responded that his priority is the patient and I should let him get on with his job. I don't think that was very professional answer. The fact that the staff nurse telling my husband to "hurry up, we don't have much time" when he was trying to remove his shirt for him to put his gown on, felt also very uncaring.

The infection control aspect of the care was non existent. The doctor wasn't wearing any gloves to insert cannulas, neither did he prepare the skin with the clorprep that was sitting in the box on a trolley.

When he was moved to resus part of the A@E the nursing staff were better although I was still left feeling that there could have been more communication between nursing staff and my husband.

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

I would like to apologise as this patient and relative clearly did not feel that staff spent enough time explaining what was happening clearly and fully , and with enough detail. I do not know why the nurse was hurting the Doctor , I’m not clear if it was because they were pushed for time or that the patient needed treatment quickly , but either way this should have been communicated in a better way. Our Consultant colleagues will be asked to remind their junior staff about the need for proper skin preparation and the use of gloves . It is not possible from the comment left to determine if it was one of our ED Doctors or one from one of the on call teams , but we will issue a reminder to our staff and via the governance structures. I am really sorry that the nursing staff came across as uncaring . We try very hard to make people feel cared for and secure and I am very sorry that we were found lacking on this occasion. If you would like to discuss your concerns further please contact Carol Spanswick (carol.spanswick@nhs.net) or Sarah Carver (sarah.carver@nhs.net ) Matrons for UHL Emergency Department. Carol Spanswick and Sarah Carver Matrons for UHL Emergency Department University Hospital Lewisham Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

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