"Staff with hearts of gold!"

About: Southmead Hospital

My experience of Southmead did not get off to the best of starts as I had to wait on my own, (feeling rather neglected and very stressed) for almost 8 hours before I got to theatre. However, after this my experience of Southmead was brilliant mainly down to the amazing staff on Ward/Gate 26B and the Ortho doctors. Southmead staff really do care and do their upmost for the patients. The nurses, Healthcare Assistants, House Keeping and cleaners all work incredibly hard and are friendly, professional and incredibly caring - the majority of them truly having hearts of gold! Having an operation was stressful and painful physically and emotionally and being bed bound made me feel very vulnerable and out of my comfort zone. However with the incredible care I received from all the different types of staff I was helped through it...and they even managed to make me laugh on numerous occasions!! Unfortunately, it is my opinion, that all of this comes at a price to their own welfare and needs. I was shocked to observe nurses and Health Care Assistants working 12 hour shifts with such intense workloads that they were frequently unable to take the meagre two, thirty minute breaks they were entitled to. Indeed, they really were put under extreme strain and many shifts were very under-staffed. I understand, by reading the hospital's feedback to reviews, that this is explained via illness etc, but the true situation seems to be that the expectations by those high up in the hospital who decide how many staff are needed on a shift does not in any way match the reality of how many staff are truly required now that patients are in their own rooms (which I really appreciated by the way!!!) and due to the basic fact that the corridors spread a long distance and take longer to physically cover, without even taking into consideration the time required to meet the needs of the patients. Additionally, if staff have to work under such conditions then clearly the sickness rate will increase due to the strain on their bodies! Perhaps those that make the decisions about staffing should go and work as Healthcare Assistants for a week so that they can experience what their staff go through. I was on this ward for 2 and a half weeks and with time on my hands watched on shocked at the reality of nursing! I would suggest that the hospital also provide a leaflet for patients for what they can reasonably expect during their time in hospital as I was outraged to constantly over-hear staff being harrassed by needy, thoughtless patients asking for assistance with their wifi, constant cups of tea and moaning about petty things...clearly mistaking the place for a hotel!! The Ortho doctors/consultants were also brilliant. They constantly checked on my progress, explained things clearly, always gave me the opportunity to ask questions and showed a genuine interest in me as a person. Even the anesthetist popped in to see me post-op! A huge thanks to the incredible staff!

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Jules – thank you for posting details of your experience of the Orthopaedics service at Southmead Hospital. I am pleased that overall you found this to be so positive and that the staff were so committed. Information about preparing for admission, what to expect during your stay, etc. is available via the NBT website http://www.nbt.nhs.uk/patients-carers/coming-hospital but it is difficult to include all the information in a single leaflet. However, information tailored to the ward should have been provided for you when you were admitted and I apologise if this was not the case. Your feedback will be considered. Your kind comments about the staff have been shared with those concerned and the management teams. Kind regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful