"Good but oh so much staff chatter and noise at..."

About: Peterborough City Hospital

The ward seemed to run smoothly during my stay with the exception of morning shift changeovers. Oh the noise! What seemed like endless excited personal chatter and too long for staff to settle down into their shift! Otherwise the shifts seemed to run fairly smoothly with efficient and caring staff, but during the changeover call buttons were not answered for long periods, mine for over 45 minutes, necessitating going against advice and moving myself to the bathroom rather than waiting for help, having settled back on my bed in day clothes before anyone came to see me and not because there were no available staff, they were just too absorbed in their personal lives and holiday plans to hear the bells above the noise created. Only other problem was a very loud and demanding patient who screamed and swore and sobbed beginning at any and every quiet time, disrupting all the other patients and from what I heard and saw, had staff scared to attend her, though mostly there were numerous staff in attention for long periods. Perhaps such a disruptive and attention seeking patient unsettling both staff and other pateints should have been moved off a ward where everyone is going through very difficutl and painful recoveries? The patient was attended for about an hour to indulge in a very long shower, boasting loudly in the common area outside rooms of all the beauty treatments she had indulged in with donated toiletries, forgetting the pain which had her screaming and swearing the rest of the time! I gave up waiting for someone to help me wash my back and got a relative to do this for me at visiting time. My advice is to scream and swear and sob and get agressive and threatening and you will get 5 star personal attention! ( mind I thought the hospital said such behaviour will not be tolerated........?) Don't be dignified pateint who waits quietly for a call for pain relief to be answered in the knowledge you will be one of many- just go for it, get loud and aggressvie and it will become your ward! Otherwise I was very impressed by the thoroughness of the girl who cleaned my room, the friendliness of the waiter and the standard of care given by the HCAs. The night staff were efficient and kind in particular and did their best in the difficulties caused by the disruptive pateint, not once criticising or complaining about their conflicts in dealing with all patients ( though could be overheard doing so in the corridor) in their care whilst trying to help the disruptive one in turn. Plenty of other staff and doctors were summoned to the disruptive one and stayed with her for very long periods, so no one can say the problem was not under discussion, but as a patient I was so so pleased to get home and escape another night of her disruption.

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Response from Annette Parker, Care Quality Strategic Support Manager, Care Quality, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience as an inpatient. I am aware that noise can be frustrating for patients and I will ensure that the 'noisy nurses' issue is taken up in our Trust wide communication processes as a generic reminder. If you would like to email me at annette.parker@pbh-tr.nhs.uk and let me know which ward you were on I will be able to visit and speak to the staff directly as well as passing on your very positive comments as well. With regard to noisy patients, unfortunately a few patients become distressed and disruptive for many different reasons and while I appreciate they can and do take up staff time we always aim to not allow this to detract from care given to other patients.

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