"Some of the older nurses were ..."

About: Royal Surrey County Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Some of the older nurses were friendly, efficient and knew what they were doing.

Bed linen was changed daily and I was also given a fresh nighty every day.

Internet facilities were available (very useful for a self employed person running an internet based business) and no-one had a problem with mobile phones being used.

What could be improved

Cleanliness of the ward as a whole was not very good. The cleaners were inefficient, for example, only vacuuming central areas.

Some of the younger nurses seemed to be only interested in chatting to each other (especially white English ones, it has to be said).

Using the bell to summon help (when it actually worked!) was often a waste of time and always involved a long wait. When someone did arrive, nine times out of ten they were grumbling. If a patient had suffered cardiac arrest or something equally severe, they might have died before help arrived. I once had to drag myself up the corridor to get help for another patient who couldn't get out of bed, despite being seriously ill myself.

I was also made to wait for my drip to be changed. When I (again!) managed to force myself along the corridor, dragging the drip stand with me, the nurse tut tutted and changed the bag in the corridor, before sending me back to bed like a naughty school child!

The food was not too good, but I did discover that choosing something marked with a chef's hat on the menu would usually bring me a meal of a higher calibre.

I was in hospital as I had a very serious infection. It could well have been contagious (especially as the staff were unable to work out exactly which bug was responsible). I was therefore surprised (and concerned) to be put on a surgical ward. I am not a medical person, the closest I come to 'medical' qualifications is a biology 'O' level but even I can see that people with open wounds should not be treated within a few feet of someone with a potentially fatal illness (septicaemia). Surely this is asking for trouble!

Also, the ward was really for people coming in for elective surgery. This meant they were realtively well when they came in. I was the only medical patient on the ward and really suffered when they partied (as you might expect) the night before their operations.

Anything else?

Once I was well enough to spend time out of bed, I really enjoyed sitting in the day room with a cup of tea that I had made myself, using the facilities available. It was like a little home from home in there.

Story from NHS Choices

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