"Poor experience of Ward B20, Sunderland Royal"

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I think that the staff who treated me on ward B20 were a disgrace. I attended A&E in agony with a urine infection. After waiting 3 hours (that was the stated waiting time, and people were there, so no gripes), I passed out and was quickly loaded onto a bed and whipped around into the bit with the Drs (so my partner tells me). I was given morphine for my pain, and the usual tests etc. So far, so brilliant...this was 3pmish.

I was then taken to purgatory (otherwise referred to by the hospital as ward B20). From 9.30 pm until 11.30 am the next day, I was only put on a drip and given paracetamol. Now my drip was attached to the bed and there was nowhere to pee. There was no use ringing the bell, as I could hear the staff down the ward laughing and gossiping. The nurse didn't seem to want to know, and the care staff, well some of them I wouldn't let care for my dog. I won't tell you what happened.

Anyway, at 3 am I was still asking for a Dr. and the nurse was furious I wasn't asleep and told me they were busy. A Dr came to the bed opposite to see a patient, yet refused to speak to me after. The nurse finally gave me a Tramadol, saying I should be quiet, as a Dr should give permission.

I was told repeatedly that they would get me pain relief a Dr etc, but never did.

At 11.30 am, I left the ward and went back to A&E in agony. I'd rung my partner, who left work and got to the ward before they sent a nurse around to ask me if I'd comeback. I arrived back and god knows how I walked there, at one point lying in the corridor with the care assistant standing next to me.

My partner was berating a senior nurse about my care. She wanted to know why a Dr hadn't seen me, only to be told the nurse would sort it out. Well after 5 days of hell on that ward I was finally moved. Yes, I had a kidney/bladder infection, which in itself should have required pain relief. But I also had a crush fracture in my spine! Paracetamol was never going to cut it was it? Oh how I'd begged for morphine after that first in A&E.

I would never allow myself to be admitted to that ward ever again. I'd sign myself out and pay for a taxi to take me to another A&E. I'd crawl over broken glass to get out of that ward.

In short, there is no other excuse. Don't tell me about staff shortages or lack of equipment. In my view staff were running that ward for their own benefit, and showing no duty of care to the patients. Some spoke in slang (come on, they supposed to be professionals), and seemed only interested in talking about the smell of their morning ablutions and how much they drank the night before! The managers can dress it up all they like, but I feel that some of these staff need to be sacked, not retrained. They behaved in ways that were unsuitable and incapable.

Yet the actual A&E bit and the other wards were very good, as it happens.

As a side issue, they never once injected me with the anti clotting thing, and left a cannula in my arm for 5 days. I was then treated for sepsis. Was it the infection? I think probably. That it was left in too long without change? Maybe so.

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