"This was a planned surgical admission ..."

About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

This was a planned surgical admission and I appreciated being screened for MRSA before admission. I was treated with respect and courtesy until the moment that I entered the ward for a post op one night stay.

What could be improved

The majority of the nursing staff showed very poor communication skills, not adapting according to the needs of individual patients. For example, there was an elderly lady with a hearing impairment on the ward and they made no effort to adjust their communication other than to shout - which doesn't help!! They ignored the lady's comments that she did not have her hearing aid.

The nurse who dealt with me on my return from surgery did not say more than 3 words to me. She did not tell me what she was doing - eg taking my blood pressure, and was not proactive in asking if there was anything I needed - when I asked for a drink of water she did not respond verbally and I was not sure that she had heard or understood my request, she simply walked away. However, she did return with a glass of water some time later but placed it on the locker out of reach (on my left hand side - I had just had surgery on my left shoulder and it was immobilised!).

Another concern was the absence of 'bins'. There was nowhere to put used tissues and food wrappers etc - other than on the overbed table, where they mixed with books, magazines, water glasses, food items etc. this was "awkward", and, I would think, an infection control risk.

I was offered my breakfast in the morning whilst I was sitting on the commode. I was surrounded by curtains but it was not pleasant and had I been unable to communicate clearly, I would not have been given breakfast.

I heard several comments such as "I'm not just here for your benefit", which although delivered jokingly were disrespectful and in fact untrue, as nurses are there to support the patients - not the other way round!

Anything else?

I am proud to have worked in the NHS for 30 years, and make these comments to be constructive. In my working life I support people with Learning Disabilities and am passionate about improving services for them and ensuring that they are treated equitably in all healthcare settings. My personal experience of in patient care as an articulate reasonably assertive person leads me to worry about the care that they may receive. My concerns are not about the quality of the clinical care provided, but the attitudes of nursing staff and their ability to interact and communicate according to the individual needs of patients.

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Response from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Many thanks for your detailed comments and we appreciate that you have real concerns about your experiences. We would very much like the opportunity to find out more detail in order that we can look into these issues further. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 0193282.

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