"Most staff excellent, some not."

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital

Although I am grateful for the tests done and the colorectal surgery my mother had to remove a malignant tumour as well as the high level of care she received from most of the nursing staff, I am nonetheless disappointed in some aspects of her care on Ward C14. I visited almost daily over several weeks & was frustrated at times by the lack of communication between staff & patient/ family and also between staff members themselves which sometimes resulted in unnecessary discomfort for my mother. Perhaps these problems are as a result of inadequate numbers of staff on the ward at times, or for too much paperwork and too little real nursing time, but, whatever reason is given, there is no excuse for it and the issue should be addressed. Also, some nursing staff made us feel a nuisance for asking for information about aspects of care & treatment and treated us discourteously. At times I was ignored by staff members when I ventured to the nurses station. I understand that most will be busy with various duties but some were just standing around, even having a laugh between themselves. As an intelligent, observant adult, I can determine the difference between the former and latter. When it's obvious that my timing was inconvenient for genuine reasons, I would go away and return later. However, it is ill-mannered for staff to see you approach, turn their backs (even walk off) and leave you standing there like a child waiting until it's spoken to. I was not alone in this degrading treatment. Some, when they do deign to speak to you, continue to treat you in an off-hand manner, as though you've no right to be there asking for things or for information. It really is not acceptable behaviour. We are concerned family members not enemies. If this is how they treat me, I wonder how these particular staff members treat my mother when I'm not around? Is it any wonder that she felt uncomfortable at asking some staff members for help even when she needed it? It is only a minority that act in such a manner but sadly it makes what is difficult time much harder to deal with. . . There were staff members though who stood out for me for their exemplary conscientiousness and for the kindness, respect and care they showed to mother and my family despite being extremely busy: the nurse in charge of mother's care, two other nurses and a male pharmacist. Also a staff nurse whom I only met once but who immediately acknowledged me, listened to my concerns and acted on them. For all those who work hard and unselfishly give the patients' needs priority, I have nothing but praise. For those few who shirk their responsibilities and/or who withhold dignity and respect, please don't make excuses for your/their bad behaviour. For the sake of the patients and their distressed families, please stamp out discourteous, unmannerly behaviour.

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Response from Royal Blackburn Hospital

Many thanks for your feedback on your experience of our colorectal surgery service, and thank-you for taking the time to do so. I will make sure your concerns about the ward care and communication are passed onto the team. I am very sorry to hear that your recent experience with us wasn't completely what you expected as we always strive to deliver safe, personal & effective care. I will pass on your comments to the ward matron for C14 so that she is aware of them, and assure you that this will be shared with the staff on the ward. If you would like to talk through your visit to us with one of our Patient Experience team so we can understand the bits of your experience that made this a poor visit for you and a bad experience for your mother we would really value this so that we can try to improve it for every patient throughout our hospitals and services. You can either contact me (Wendy Stobbs) on 01254 734471 or email me on wendy.stobbs@elht.nhs.uk. If you would like to discuss further any concerns you may have about our services please contact our Customer Relations team on 01254 733700 or complaints@elht.nhs.uk who can advise you of your options in raising these concerns further Once again many thanks for commenting and best wishes to your mother on her recovery

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