"Staff behaviour at night in High Wycombe Cardiac Unit Ward 2A"

About: Wycombe Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was in hospital in the 2A cardiac unit ward of the High Wycombe Hospital and came out yesterday after suffering a heart attack on Saturday morning.

Whilst the excellent specialist care in that cardiology unit is beyond reproach, I feel that I have a duty to bring to your notice the unfortunate behaviour of staff during night time there. Having stayed for 3 nights in that ward, it seemed that every night was practically the same “party atmosphere” amongst some of the night staff, as soon as it was “lights out” around 10 pm. I feel that this must be reported to the authorities so that patients who are in this ward can rest during night time.

The worst night was indeed that of Monday, when from around 10:30pm until around 01:50am, all staff congregated in the central “area” and started to chat and laugh in such loud voices that it was simply impossible to try and sleep without being woken up after a few minutes by a loud burst of laughter. One could distinctly hear each story and joke as everyone in turn participated and the laughing got louder and louder. One could also hear around midnight the 10 minute discussion between the head nurse on the phone with A&E requesting a free bed. And as soon as she put the phone down, she related to other staff members the whole conversation all over again in a high pitched voice, to explain why she had to say NO.

Fortunately for us, at around 01:50am some patients presumably asked for some assistance and the noise level died down for a good while and I probably dozed off then.

I asked a couple of patients the next morning whether they had been able to sleep with all the din and they both said that they could not either, but dared not raise an objection for fear of reprisals.

I cannot help but wonder that if this sort of behaviour happens in such a ward destined to take in patients with life threatening conditions, it might be the usual accepted practice.

I really feel that if some staff at that level cannot behave appropriately, some control should be devised to try and stem this disrespectful behaviour. It is as if they know that at night they can do practically what they want as nobody outside “their” circle can overhear them.

I am so disappointed with this.

Kind regards,

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