"Observations of a volunteer in Walsgrave"

About: University Hospital (Coventry) / Older people's healthcare

(as other),

I volunteered at the Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry. I was put on the stroke ward as a tea lady. I only went twice. I was quite upset with what I saw.

The first time I went I saw an elderly lady behind screens with a full bed pan on her bed, there was also food on the bed. She kept calling for a nurse but none appeared.

The second time I went, an elderly man called for a nurse, one of which was attending another patient in the next bed. After the nurse had finished he walked past the patient to the end of the ward, and then returned looking at the patient who had called him, and ignored him. I asked the man what he needed and he wanted a tissue. It took me all of 5 seconds to get one for him. The next thing I saw was an elderly man in his bed in the day room. He didn't appear to have any pyjama bottoms on and kept pushing down his sheet. I tried to help by pulling up the sheet. I was told that we were not allowed to help the patients. This poor man was in an area with lots of people passing through and his dignity was not taken care of.

I have been a patient at this hospital, thankfully only for two days at a time. I found that the hospital is run for the convenience of the staff and patients are secondary. I was able to take care of myself but, because I was in surgery when the food was available, I was unable to get any food out of mealtimes. I was so hungry one night that I begged one of the staff to find me a biscuit or something, which she did. I feel for the poor people who are not able to do this.

We do not get this service for nothing, we pay national insurance, surely we should be treated with respect and dignity?

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