"Outstanding excellence of care at Medway Maritime Hospital "

About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

Having been a long term neurology patient at Medway Maritime Hospital and subsequently a neurosurgical patient at Kings, and as an employee of the NHS, I came with exceptionally high and exacting standards that I expected to be achieved of the clinical care I was to be given.

I was referred to the ENT team at Medway, as an urgent ward attender, by my GP in early April 2014, due to a severe ear infection, complicated by recent brain surgery (only 2 weeks ago), for the insertion of a VP shunt.

I was seen by the SHO on McCulloch ward and after a quick examination, the decision was made to admit me, due to the severity of the ear infection, my recent medical history and the extreme pain I was in.

Although there was a considerable delay in finding me a bed (& it became apparent I wasn't the only patient during my stay to be affected by bed status'), and being left in considerable pain in the day room on McCulloch ward, I was looked after exceptionally well.

One particular nurse and two HCA's, whose names I never really got, were outstanding in their empathy and action.

The HCA who attended to me in the treatment room can be described in no other way than just lovely - I was visibly distressed by the pain and was crying and the empathy and compassion she showed on the two occasions she saw me in the treatment room (on the Wednesday and Thursday) went a long way to helping me feel more comfortable whilst awaiting further care and pain relief. She held my hand as I was examined, knowing that the examination was going to be painful and stayed with me as long as she could, until her shift finished.

A second HCA, who noticed me sitting in the day room crying whilst waiting for a bed, although could do nothing directly for my pain, placed a simple comforting hand on my knee and chased the doctor for pain relief. When she saw me two days later, clearly much better, she stopped, during handover, to speak to me to say just how pleased she was to see me smiling and much much happier.

Finally, a staff nurse who looked after me on Wednesday when I was admitted (and who was also on the night shift on Thursday evening looking after me), never took no for an answer, until she found me a bed on the ward and arranged appropriate pain relief, with me eventually being prescribed IV morphine. She helped me to be relatively comfortable whilst waiting and was relentless in her non-acceptance of a patient being expected to wait in a vulnerable and distressed state. Her attention and care to all the patients I saw her interact with, was outstanding - whilst on the night shift her attitude and proactive approach to ensure a doctor was got to the ward to attend to me and the patient beside me was admirable to watch and would certainly add value in passing on to other staff.

The whole medical team who attended to me, from the most junior of doctors, to the Consultant, who showed brilliance in the way he mentored from a safe distance, whilst his registrar attended to the patients, teaching as he went, showed compassion, expertise and complete attention to the task in hand.

I was, understandably, deeply concerned that my recently inserted VP shunt had been compromised as a result of the ear infection, and the team ensured that my fears were allayed by speaking directly to Kings College Hospital, seeking their advice and arranging for a day attendance to Kings.

I must admit, I was nervous about being admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital, given the recent press and based on my previous personal experiences (in ED), but I was nothing short of amazed at how strong the teams were, committed to their roles and the delivery of patient care.

The ward was clean at all times, with the housekeeping and hostess staff playing just as an important and pivotal role as the clinical staff - they were also well respected by the teams on the ward.

I was also impressed to see regular ward meetings occurring throughout the day, to review the ward status & care plans by the nursing team; it involved the whole nursing team and was obviously deemed an important part of the shift.

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Response from Suzanne Brooker, Head of Patient Experience, Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your excellent review of our services.

You articulated clearly how the human interventions of staff can still make a real difference to patient care.

Your obvious distress and level of pain was noticed by the health care assistants who demonstrated human kindness and empathy throughout your examination which was both comforting and reassuring for you.

You go on to say that the staff nurse who was on duty was relentless in her determination to find you a bed and pain relief when you were in such a vulnerable and distressed state was just another example of a genuine and caring individual.

Her proactive approach and attention to detail was clearly valued, ensuring every patient receives a first class service.

The behaviours and actions you describe certainly add value to the role and is something we would want to encourage in our leaders going forward.

Your further observations of the doctors interactions demonstrated compassion, expertise and a detailed history from Kings College Hospital to ensure the best treatment options were considered, offering you some assurance that we are delivering excellent patient care.

I will ensure the staff are made aware of your feedback so that they can continue providing a great service for all our patients.

Thank you once again for taking the time to offer us your feedback.


Suzanne Brooker

Head of Patient Experience

01634 830000 ex 5175


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Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback relating to your recent unplanned admission under the care of the ENT team. Thank you for sharing your positive thoughts relating to the nursing staff and the consultant surgeon, who have been notified of your feedback, and particularly the empathy that you received whilst in our care. I am sorry to hear you were not provided with an inpatient bed in a timely manner, and for this I apologise. At times we experience a high number of emergency admissions, which must take priority in order of clinical need. Thank you again for your feedback and we hope that you are recovering well. Samantha Goldberg Associate Director of Operations Surgery, Anaesthetics & Theatres

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