"Avoid Sage Ward like the plague"

About: Whipps Cross University Hospital

My friend underwent spinal surgery at Whipps Cross and was placed into Sage Ward for her recovery period. Where do I begin ? Staff were utterly unresponsive to any communication. I was obviously a burden to them and they let me know it. I remained polite throughout and only expected simple things. I phoned up two days running to ask about my friends convalescence and initially had the phone put down on me with an odd tooth sucking noise. I phoned back and no one picked up. Next day I phoned and the phone was answered with swearing and the receiver replaced. It wasn't anything I said I just asked how my friend was doing and what time I could visit. The first time I turned up and asked where she was I was ignored by someone too busy on their mobile phone to help me. When I persisted they snapped "don't know" and went back to their friend on the mobile. Other patients were visibly distressed and being totally ignored by staff. I asked if I could get some water for my friend and the effort and sighing was so pronounced that I found myself apologising. The worst thing that happened was the threatening behaviour of the person on the drugs trolley. When my friend asked why she was being given a certain drug the answer was "well imagine if I punched you in the face. It would swell up and bruise" Suffice to say my friend checked herself out after 4 days which was far too early. She couldn't stand the neglect of herself and other patients nor could she deal with the attitude problems that all staff displayed. (There was one nice person but he only filled in for the regular staff on weekends. He agreed with our assessment of the ward and apologised for them)

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Response from Whipps Cross University Hospital

We are very sorry to hear of your poor experience on Sage Ward. Your comments have been shared with the senior nursing team for the ward who have been asked to review the issues that you have raised. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail and would encourage you to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 3594 2040 or by email pals@bartshealth.nhs.uk Kind regards Barts Health NHS Trust

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