"My poor experience of nursing at QMC"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / General surgery

(as the patient),

Well, I would like to say that when I realised I had some glass in my foot, I rushed to QMC Nottingham. The service and care I received in A and E was amazing, especially one nurse who just made the whole experience a little less distressing. However, when being referred the next day to Ward C6 for an op on my foot it all started to go downhill from there.

The main nurse was fine but not what I would say was reassuring. I was given a bed and from there in was mainly just left to it, no one made me aware of which was the emergency button, no one told me where the loo was. It really made one quite reliant on them, which would have been fine if they had been there, but often you felt as though they were resentful or just generally fed up that you needed something.

When a nurse would come to visit me or give me pain killers they would not use the antibacterial gel, which I felt was a little worrying considering nearly everyone in that ward was very elderly, frail and had an operation wound of some sort. Often not being able to get a nurses attention with my buzzer, I would be forced to stand up with only one good foot and would see that they were all sat round the nurses station chatting!

Once seeing a nurse prepare to put a surgical glove, when she dropped it she just picked it up and put on her hand! Does this not defy the point of a surgical glove?

The part which was most distressing was the way they handled a female patient with dementia, she was so distressed and crying and confused, and really very, very, very rarely did anyone come and sit or explain to her what was happening and where she was.

One evening when she was waking up nearly every half an hour, they finally moved her bed near the nurses station. I think they were trying to change her sheets for one reason or another and she swore at them, and they all just laughed at her and said how she was a rude woman, I can only imagine how distressing that must be to a woman with dementia.

I had an IV in my arm for antibiotics, and it was on this same night, they came along to put in a new drip, and literally 2 mins after they had gone I was in excruciating pain. I was crying and rocking back and forth, I rung my bell but they paid no attention, as I think they thought it was the woman with dementia.

Eventually the duty nurse came but he was not allowed to do anything, he said that the needle must have been jolted out and therefore the fluid was not going into my vein, he said he would tell the nurse. I waited and waited, 10 mins later I rang the bell again and he came again and was surprised that nurses still had not been. Eventually she came and stopped the fluid, gave me some codeine, but said she did not know what it was and I would have to wait for the doctor, she did not remove it.

I waited for half an hour! And then to be told that the needle had been shifted out and he then had to put a new one on the other hand, I suffered severe bruising and just felt the whole experience was rather unnecessary.

The next morning I had been nil by mouth awaiting surgery, for some reason the ward was so hot, pretty awful in fact, when one is nil by mouth and not allowed any fluids. I went to have a shower, no one helped me carry my towel, soap and toothbrush. Carrying that as well as my crutches on both arms, was all pretty tricky!

When leaving I felt very sick and dizzy, was sick even though my stomach was empty, eventually a doctor came along, obviously no one had read my notes as he had thought I had had the operation! Still feeling sick, I suggest to him that maybe I was dehydrated and he said that I had been on a hydration drip. I said no that was antibiotics, he looked slightly startled and got me on one right away.

The nurses who came on shift that morning were a bit better, but the whole time they seemed rude, aggressive and just as though they wished there were no patients.

The food was hideous and they did not take into account my coeliac disease and gave me tapioca for pudding, which I left.

The tea boy was rude and chatting up a nurse in front of all the patients, which I found very unprofessional. When this very frail old woman as asked if he could pass the tea to her that he had just poured into a beaker for her, he said, 'Sorry love I am not trained for that', and just left her. He did not even inform a nurse that she may need some help.

The surgeons were fantastic, and when the anaesthetist brought me back to the ward it showed me how the nurses could care for patients, if they just gave a damn about their job! He was amazing and stepped in to help the women next to me that had been asking for assistance all morning, but had been ignored.

I was really dozy as I had been given an anti-sickness injection just before the op as well and I could not come around, but whilst dozing in and out I noticed the nurse was flicking through my magazine, I felt this very rude as it was my personal property. The physio came round and even though I was still half asleep they made me get up to do some walking as she was going in 10 mins, really was that necessary?

Occasionally I would tell the nurses that one of the other patients wants help or is asking for something, and they would just say, “oh, yeah yeah” and either “she has dementia” as though this is a reason to ignore someone or “in a minute”. It just felt as though there was no shift handover catch up, no one read notes, and when they came round with the drugs they would just stick something in your ear, grab your arm and just shove a needle in your tummy.

There was just no communication at all and when nurses did speak, they were either patronising or rude. I am just thankful I was only in there for two days, and I feel sorry for those that are in there for a long time, one woman next to me had been in there for 4 weeks and had no visitors whilst I was there.

I do not know why no one comes round with magazines, books or something, as you don't ever get spoken to, no fruit, or juice or salad. How are people supposed to get better when their mind, bodies and eventually their souls are destroyed by the whole experience?

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Response from Charlotte Lawson-Braley, Support and Development Manager, Principia

Dear Gwenllian

Nottingham University Hospital asked me to pass on the following response to your posting:

I am sorry that you found that some of our services fell below the high standards we expect at our hospitals. If you would like us to respond to you regarding the issues you have raised about your care please contact us in the first instance via PALS on 08000521195.

The Trust welcomes feedback about the services it provides and actively uses feedback to improve its services. Feedback can be provided directly to the Trust by

Contacting PALS

Minicom: 0800 183 0204

E-mail: pals@nuh.nhs.uk

Accessing our Feedback site

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