"Very bad experience"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

I was admitted into hospital with severe back pain. In a&e I was treated fairly well and the staff where a little busy and stressed which is understandable. I was admitted to Thomas Moore ward and things went downhill from there.as I was in a lot of pain and quite upset & laid flat on my back for a very long time it was 2 hrs before anyone came and checked on me when I went to the ward. I wasn't even sure if I was lying in a hallway or a room as I couldn't lift my head. I was there for a week and in that time only 2 nurses introduced themselves to me - only after I complained to the matron - who was helpful but did not come to see me to see if things had improved.there is not enough space here to write all the failings of this hospital and I will be writing to the GMC as I wouldn't like anyone elderly or vulnerable to be treated in such a way. One night I asked a nurse to help me to the toilet & she told me it wasn't her job. Another time I rang my buzzer for 45 mins for pain relief. I never in my life have written a review but I really feel that things need looking into. One day I came back from making a call to all my stuff being packed up & moved to another room. I waited 9 hrs for a doctor to come and prescribe something to open my bowels. On my supposed day of discharge my sick note & medicine went missing & then I was told after waiting for hours that I wasn't going home after all as I was still on morphine. When I finally was told at 11am that I could go home I had to wait till 8pm to be told by the nurse that my second sick note was gone & I had to go to a&e to find the orthapedic doc to sign my sick note which took over an hr I felt that the most important thing when your not well is for the nurses & staff to smile & introduce themselves - it makes such a difference! I will say that one young nurse was so caring & professional & is a fine example to the older nurses I'm hoping no-one else especially elderly or vulnerable has to experience what I did here

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Chris, Thank you for taking the time to make a comment at what sounds like a difficult time with your back pain. It is so pleasing to read about your experience in A&E, with the matron and the younger nurse you refer to, but disappointing to see that on the ward you had a difficult time because staff were not introducing themselves or providing information about your journey of care, the 45 minute delay for pain relief and what appears to be an issue around timely communication. Please do contact the Patient Experience Team as we would be keen to take this further with the team on the ward, there are clearly a number of issues to be addressed, but what strikes me most about your comment is your statement about smiling and introduction, this is something we have begun a major improvement programme on and it would be wonderful to have you as a champion for this as there is nothing so powerful as presenting such an idea from your perspective as a patient. As I say, we will need to take further steps to investigate what has happened, and so if you could call the Patient Experience Team on 01279 82 70 84 between Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm or email pals@pah.nhs.uk, we will be do that.

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