"Conveyor belt care is so uncaring"

About: Royal Free Hospital

The nurses work under extreme managerial pressure which dictates what and how they care for the patients (parcels). They are very good at their job, they are kind when allowed to be but are working within time constraints that do not consider the human factors involved. Targets, timescales and non-clinical dictats rule to the detriment of the care of human beings Admitted for elective surgery and the conveyor belt starts in the day care unit. You are moved along from room to room and person to person each asking the same questions and filling in the same responses in the same booklet. Passed along to theatres and finally you feel like a person not a parcel. Recovery and the conveyor belt starts again as you are sent off to a strange ward with nurses you have never seen who discuss private details in front of your friends and family thus breaching your confidentiality and informing them and the rest of the ward of personal medical details. Seen by a junior doctor who takes a brief medical history and asked about prescription medication - post anaesthetic and under the influence of strong pain killers I am expected to confirm my regular medication. Is it any wonder I was overdosed on one drug and not given others at the correct time? Told by nurse there was a bed crisis and I had to go home so start packing up and call someone to come for me - no doctor had seen me and I had yet to be checked off the post operative tasks but the clipboard manager with him was insistent. I was over the average stay and would make their figures look bad. I was reprieved but some poor soul was sent home at 10pm! The conveyor belt doesn't stop even if there aren't any beds. Surgery had been performed and people (parcels) were in recovery waiting for a bed - can't have bad cancellation figures. Everything done is to achieve a tick in a box and whether you achieve it successfully or not you have attempted it so you have done it so a tick appears and you are discharged. The overall experience is horrible; you are a parcel on a conveyor belt yet the majority of the nurses are kind and do care but sadly they are not allowed to unless its meets the conveyor belt ticks. Why can't the NHS be efficient and caring? We are not parcels to be scanned, conditions to be discussed without consideration of confidentiality or tasks to be checked of - we are human beings.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

Thank you for your comments about your recent surgery at the Royal Free. We are sorry that you felt process took over from caring. It is true that we are often very busy but we want patients to have good care and feel looked after. Your comments will be passed to our senior nursing and surgery managers. We hope you make a good recovery.

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