"It seems to me they have a very strenuous and long journey ahead of them"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Diabetic medicine

(as the patient),

I had the experience of staying in Medway Maritime Hospital recently as a diabetic type 1, experiencing a diabetes related problem. As I cannot fault the day to day running of the ward, the staff were superb, but I severely got the feeling that the staff were under a deep cloud of despondency. The management of the ward seemed to be in a state of panic that they were not doing their job right.

Although I am diabetic I was admitted to a heart patient ward and don't think there was anyone on the ward that dealt with diabetes related problems although the staff were very willing to listen and try to understand the problems I had.

It wasn't until the 3rd day of my stay that I was visited by an overworked adult inpatient diabetes specialist nurse. We had a very good chat about what the diabetes unit is hoping to achieve in the future. It seems to me they have a very strenuous and long journey ahead of them. I'm hoping that I might be able to do the journey with them.

To try and cut a long story short - in my opinion it's the old story of if the captain of the ship is not doing his job right - it follows down the ranks to the bottom. So come on management, I think you need to get your act together and sort this hospital out. Maybe if you talk to other aspiring hospitals, you may be able to learn different ways to do things.

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Response from Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for the feedback following your stay at the hospital, it is important for us to listen and learn and improve on what we provide.

You explain that as a patient with diabetes type 1 you were admitted to a heart related ward where staff may have had limited understanding of your condition, although willing to listen and learn about diabetes this was not their speciality.

Recognising this the ward called for the diabetic specialist nurse to visit you and respond specifically to your needs. As a result of this, the ward is working with the diabetes team to improve the staff knowledge and expertise to ensure a first class diabetes service for all patients. Standards will remain high and patients will have confidence and trust in our abilities.

I would like to thank you again for bringing this to our attention and hope that you may be part of our journey going forward.


Phil Gurnett

Senior Charge Nurse

Nelson Ward

Tel; 01634 830000 ex5522

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Update posted by grandad oi oi (the patient)

Thank you for reading my letter and responding to it. I am pleased that there will be more training for the staff to learn more about the needs of diabetics.

Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

Many thanks for taking the time to provide a balanced view of your stay at Medway Maritime Hospital. We are doing a number of things to make improvements, including working with two excellent performing NHS trusts to do exactly as you say - to learn from their insights and knowledge. However, patient feedback is really valuable to us to pinpoint further areas we need to look at. All your points will be shared with the relevant teams. Thank you once again for sharing your experience. Medway Maritime Hospital Team

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