"Helpful but overworked nurses"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

(as a relative),

What I liked

Helpful but overworked nurses

What could be improved

Just not enough staff! My father was brought in by ambulance having been to his GP with severe chest pains. The ambulance was not local, it had actually come from Welwyn to cover and the paramedics were not impressed with PAH at all - bearing in mind my father had severe chest pains and there were signs all over the walls sayong that you should inform a doctor immediately on arrival of chest pains, he and the paramedics were ignored for over 10 minutes and only begrudgingly seen to after one paramedic kicked up a stink about it.

He then waited around 4 hours in A&E, very briefly seeing 3 different doctors until he was admitted and told he would be in overnight, then for the weekend, then for a week!

Once he got to the ward he was given a bed with no pillows. So he asked for a pillow and a very helpful nurse told him she "thinks she knows where there MIGHT be one"!!???? Eh?? It quickly became apparent that pillows are like gold dust at PAH. 4 hours later and still no pillow, just 3 apologies that they were still looking. At this point the gentleman in the next bed volunteered a pillow as he had 2. My father had no choice but to accept the kind offer but surely this is not good for cross comtamination?

Next afternoon I visited agin, still no pillow. Is this some sort of a joke?

The ward looked clean in the main but on closer inspection there was dirt around the edges of the floor and on the table and dust under the bed - not good enough in these times!

I did not feel comfortable even visiting this hospital so was terrified for my father.

Parking is ridiculously expensive but there are often places in Wych Elm car park opposite. On the cardiac ward where my father was they could smell smoke - we discovered it was from the open window and that it was above where the staff seem to go for a cigarette. The smoke was floating into the CARDIAC ward - come on now!!! Following our complaint about this it did stop for a couple of days but then started again soon after

Anything else?

Not good enough quite frankly

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry that you have been dissatisfied by aspects of the service your father received.

If you could provide more details to the Customer Comments Team we would be able to formally investigate your case. You can contact the team in the following ways:

Email: Complaints@pah.nhs.uk

Telephone: 01279 827084

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