"The nurses were amazing, always ..."

About: Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The nurses were amazing, always helpful polite friendly and caring. They showed an incredible amount of patience towards all the patients.

The hospital was also more modern than I expected, although it is only 4 years old. It had good facilities like the showers and the TV entertainment system. Also the lockable units which allowed you to keep valuables safe.

It was good that mobile phones could be used so that the link to everyone outside could be maintained

What could be improved

The discharge process was dreadful and everyone I have subsequently spoke to confirms that they have the same experience. One of the gentlemen on my ward had to wait 8 hours for transport to take him home after being moved off the ward - he went home at 2am after being moved out of his bed at 7pm - this is not good enough for a 80 year old man.My own experience was waiting for my doctor to arrive to discharge me. He didn't arrive until 4pm that day even though when he was called he said he would be 10 minutes and then took a further 2 hours to arrive. When he did arrive, he wasn't my actual doctor and then had to contact my doctor. Therefore I waited all day for a doctor to come who didn't understand my condition to discharge me without even looking at the illness i had. This is ridiculous! I was eventually discharged at 6pm. The doctor who delat with me that day was also the opposite to the nurses who cared for me. He was defensive, cold, not fussed about my condition or the fact that I had waited so long and was impolite and left me with a poor impression on the hospital.

The food, although better than I expected did not contail enough fresh ingredients and surely you expect this in a hospital. The food seemed to be very processed and any vegetables from a tin. The food in the restaurant downstairs seemed more healthy an option.

Sometimes the equipment was not always available - for example - something to keep my arm elevated throughout the night - a plliowcase was used and even at the end of my stay the stand that was supporting this was removed by a nurse for another patient.

A trainee was used one day to put an IV into my arm. After 3 attempts she gave up and then another person came and made a mess of it for a fourth time spraying my blood everywhere. I do believe patients should be told if a trainee is going to perform something on you so that you can have a choice whether that person continues.

Anything else?

The main problem withthe hospital is communication. There is not enough communication between doctors, nurses and other departments. Many times I watched patients being asked questions that the medical team should know or people coming to physio on a man who had refused to eat, drink and get out of bed for 5 days. It was like his case was treated like a text book when obviously he had individual special needs. It was a waste of the physio nurses time and the patients time. On another occasion a nurse came to give him a blood test, he refused and they left - but surely this test was important.

So more communication, a way of telling other medical personnel about your condition and what needs you have so that the same old questions don't get repeated.

Also more nurses and less doctors - there are too many chiefs and not enough indians in the NHS and this doesn't help the people who do a lot of the really hard work caring for individuals 24-7

Story from NHS Choices

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