"Appalling Gastroenterology Ward at Huddersfield"

About: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I am a patient who suffers from severe and chronic Crohn's Disease. I was rushed into hospital severely malnourished, deficient and anaemic with an acute flare up of the disease. Although I very much respected and liked my doctors, the nurses were appalling. The mentality was that of teachers chastising naughty children. I was told off because my veins would not tolerate a cannula for more than 24 hours and became painful (as if this is my fault!!) and my treatment was delayed because apparently there were no doctors to resite it (a hospital with no doctors?). I had the same dirty, sweaty pillowcase for over a week and it was wet due to my frequent night sweats. My friend had to change it. My bed was covered in blood, my friend changed it. I was given an enema so I could have a sigmoidoscopy, was told it was not painful or uncomfortable and would only cause me to clear my bowel. I ended up laid on the floor of the toilet, pulling the emergency cord, in far more pain than even childbirth, it was as if someone was twisting my bowel repeatedly and I seriously thought I would die. (I am not a wimp, I had a child 7lb 3oz without any drugs and I didn't object despite my labour lasting 24 hrs). I was brought food that I could not eat due to my illness. I was forced to sit in a chair and told off when I went back to my bed and laid down, but it was so painful and I was dizzy and nauseous to boot, not the sort of condition you really want to sit in a chair for a long time. I asked for a sick bowl due to extreme nausea, one was not provided. There were not enough toilets (3 for a bowel ward!) If they were in use (showers were in the toilets as well) you had nowhere to go despite having diarrhoea 20 times a day, which is common in Crohn's. I had a large infected abscess which required daily dressing and cleaning. Because I asked for a female instead of a male (the abscess was on my bum) I did not get the dressing for 3 days as some sort of punishment. It was then recorded that I had refused treatment and was being awkward. I told the staff that I could not swallow tablets, that I was nearly vomiting if I tried. They insisted on giving me horse pills (calcium supplement) and a terribly vile potassium drink despite making it clear to them I did not want it because I was physically unable to take it. I was then bullied into trying to swallow them and then feeling sick most of the night, under the guise that I would get a report to the doctor of "non compliance with treatment" and could get ejected from the hospital for it. The NHS patient rights leaflet says you have a perfect right to refuse treatment. This non compliance policy mainly applies to mental health patients (I am an ex MH patient) and I believe that they were being like that due to my diagnosis of mental illness previously. I was not provided with water when I was dehydrated. My friend had to go and fetch it, despite not being allowed in the kitchen for infection reasons, was told by a nurse to "just go in anyway". I noted that hygiene was bad, hand washing was inadequate, hand gel was applied on its own which does not kill C Diff. Had I caught that, I'd have died. I was not allowed any proper pain relief. Paracetamol and Codeine was given, despite begging and pleading for something stronger. My sister has same illness (Crohn's) and got morphine. I was told I could not have it despite being in unbearable pain. I was then recorded to have "refused treatment" when I declined the weak pain relief due to it being pointless. My psychiatric maintenance drugs were withheld for 5 days, no reason was given. I could easily have become ill and it is highly stupid to stop suddenly due to relapse and withdrawal symptoms. I am now so afraid of this ward, I would rather suffer at home than go in there.
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