"Mixed blessings"

About: Heartlands Hospital

I was a patient at the hospital on the 7-8/8/2014, firstly in A&E and later in Ward 11 and Theatre. I have a lifelong history of renal stones. Urology Doctors and Nurses understand what you are talking about and others generally don't so it was a comfort to be dealt with by registered nurse who was confident that this was a renal stone problem.The most irritating part of the A&E experience and indeed the subsequent stay on ward 11 was the reluctance of the medical staff to prescribe an effective pain killer. I did get some I/V Paracetamol on two occasions, which was effective but only for one hour. Staff were kindly, helpful and professional except for one member of staff who passed a disdainful and insulting remark about my state of mind and for this I did receive and accepted an apology. The doctor in A&E, was particularly reassuring,kindly and professional. On SAU, Ward 11 I was particularly impressed by a doctor who painstakingly took notes of my medical history with the utmost thoroughness. At about 19:00 I was assessed by the surgeon and surgery was arranged within the hour. I would like to thank him for his timely intervention and for making immediate arrangements for my surgery. I would also like to thank the registrar for carrying out my operation but my particular thanks go to my anaesthetist and theatre staff for their commendably thorough pre operative preparation. I feel the catering staff and the food should get a mention as the staff were helpful and cheery , the menu choice was good as was the food and I would like to thank the Nursing Aid, who was very attentive to my personal needs. On two separate occasions during the day i witnessed outrageous behaviour by patients which made me very angry. The first of these was a patient who simply waived his hand dismissively at a nursing aid and shouted "pain killers", in an angry manner. The staff also have rights and speaking to them in this manner was deplorable. The nursing aid was visibly upset at being spoken to in this way. The other incident I experienced went on throughout the day as a patient of used his presence as a platform to campaign and raise the other patients in general dissent against the staff. He referred to the staff using the most vile and insulting expletives and appeared to relish in his status as the patient from hell. He spoke to them directly using similar language and gloried in making their lives difficult and absorbing their valuable time. My reason in mentioning these latter incidents is to draw attention to the fact that it isn't just patients who have rights, patients also have obligations. It doesn't cost anything to go out of your way to be pleasant and as a consequence you will generally get better service. I urge the management of the hospital to do all they can to support their staff, who generally, provide an outstanding service.

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Response from Margaret Mitchell, Deputy head for patient services, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Wilman,

Thank you very much for feedback concerning your recent admission to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. I have forwarded your information to the various departments for them to review. I also note your comments concerning the catering and will also include them in my correspondence.

Thank you once again for taking the time to feedback your experience concerning Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.

Kind regards

Margaret Mitchell

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