"Shocked by HCA on Coronary Care Unit"

About: Alexandra Hospital / Cardiology

(as a relative),

I had the unfortunate need to visit a relative on CCU at the weekend. The general condition of the ward was ok, though a bit messy, but one experience disgusted me!

There was a patient in the ward who decided to get up and urinate on the floor, the HCA noticed and went to clean the patient up. This was fine, except that I felt that they were rude to the patient and seemed to make it very obvious that they did not appreciate having to clean him up. There was a more senior nurse assisting the HCA, who failed to tell the HCA that the words they were using could be unprofessional - or maybe the nurse didn't care.

After they cleaned up the patient, the HCA obviously was fed up because they said very loudly that they felt like they wanted to go on strike, was going to jack it all in and was fed up with doing things and being a dogsbody, the exact words used I can’t remember because I was shocked. The HCA was due to serve tea to the other patients, but instead said that if people wanted tea, someone else could do it because they had had enough, this resulted in the more senior nurse having to serve the tea. The more senior nurse looked at us relatives as if to say sorry, but didn't say anything to us or the HCA.

What shocked me the most was the volume at which the HCA declared their dissatisfaction with the job and dislike of it, it was almost shouting and yet no other staff seemed to think that this was unacceptable or distressing for patients. No one approached the HCA to take them to one side (a nurse, possibly a charge nurse did whisper loudly for the HCA to behave themself) but other than that there was no one who seemed to care what they were saying.

I work for the NHS in another part of the country and I was embarrassed by what this HCA was saying, either the working conditions were that bad or they were having a bad day, either way it is unacceptable to have a professional behaving like this. The fact that this HCA thought it was ok to behave like this in front of relative’s means that they must have a complete disregard for patients. Also what is the organisations culture like if they think that it is acceptable to allow staff to behave like this in front of patients and relatives?

In the scheme of things, attitude and professionalism is less important than the clinical care afforded to a patient, but you can't help but think that if they behave like this, how much attention to they pay to their clinical work? Do they really care about patients? Do they take pride in their job?

It seems to me that there is distinct lack of morale on the CCU ward. Moreover I am concerned that this could indicate there might be a lack of morale across the trust, which needs tackling.

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Response from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

We're sorry to hear of your concerns. Please contact our patient services department on 0300 123 1733 or email patientservices.dept@worcsacute.nhs.uk so we can investigate this for you.

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Update posted by Recent Visitor (a relative)

Thanks for your response.

To be honest, I'm not sure it's worth contacting you - it's taken you best part of a month to reply so I am not sure that any good will be done by taking this forward. I'm not sure you need any further information from me to change attitude of staff on a particular ward either.

I hope you can address the poor attitude of your staff and the ethos of your whole organisation which has been bourne out in your poor response time.

Response from Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for your comments which have recently been passed on to us by the Patient Opinion Team. I am sorry to read of your experiences and whilst I appreciate that this took place last year, if you would like us to investigate your concerns further, please contact us direct on patientservices.dept@worcsacute.nhs.uk Regards

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