"Attitudes of nurses vary too much"

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary / General medicine

(as the patient),

I think the attitudes of nursing staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary vary. Some are well intended, cheerful and encouraging. Others I find are churlish, brusque and unhelpful. Most make it clear that they are busy and under pressure and any request for help is an extra burden. I believe that often promises are made and then forgotten. Even on important stuff like getting drugs, getting commodes and chasing information. I found chasing was the only way, and I felt selfish when I did.

It seemed some people were just not well enough to do these themselves which worried me.

I found the wards very noisy at night as distressed and disturbed patients were crying and shouting which kept me awake. I found after the operation and feeling ill it was pretty soul destroying.

The doctors who treated me generally seemed to treat patients as medical conditions rather than people. There was no introduction about who was who and often students were present without me being asked. I felt they were not prepared to answer questions to allay my anxieties and were not communicating their instructions clearly to nurses about what action was needed. I think that doctors and nurses must remember that we do have lives and families outside the ward who need to be communicated with. I wish doctors wouldn’t say, “The wards are nothing to do with me” to me when I raise an issue. Surely they are, and if they are not, I think they really should be.

I also think the food is dire, really dire. I found I usually didn't get what I ordered. Low fat diet? I was offered fatty lamb hot pot and fried potato wedges (which the assistant told me I couldn't eat). I am not supposed to have spice and the next days menu was meat and potato pie (too much fat) or vegetable chilli. Good grief!

I am really wondering where we would start to sort it all out. And one other thing. I would like to see nurses stop discussing other colleagues time keeping problems over the top of patients, or how much you can't wait to get away on your holidays because you hate the place, or indeed other patient's private information. I could go on, but I won't.

Bless the staff who are making an effort. It really is appreciated.

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Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

We’re sorry you were unhappy with aspects of your care with us. If you would like us to investigate further please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01539 795 497. Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to comment on our services, and apologies for the delay in responding, we would like to assure you that we regularly review the comments and pass them on to the department concerned and continue to strive to improve the service we offer our patients.

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