"Things are changing....for the better!"

About: Cumberland Infirmary

I had to go to A&E this week with an urgent problem that my GP failed to recognise, and hospital was my only hope of getting help before I became seriously ill - we could have gone to Dumfries or Carlisle, as we live between the two, and I was a bit doubtful about Carlisle after an admission three years ago where I wasn't able to get a drink of water or anything for over 12 hours despite asking. (Was allowed, but nobody had time and I couldn't walk far to find a cup anywhere) Anyway, because I was in such a bad way on this occasion, and I wanted to get somewhere quickly on the least bumpy road, we went to Carlisle. Of course we had the inevitable long wait before being seen, that can't be helped, but as soon as I saw the triage nurse they realised what the potential emergency was - then a doctor, who had a drip up straight away, explained everything and was very helpful. Fairly quickly up to a ward, another helpful doctor who got their consultant to come and see me very promptly. They diagnosed the problem and started the appropriate treatment. From then on, I was offered drinks, food, pain relief, help with getting changed etc, and all nurses - although extremely busy - were able to pause a minute or two to listen to what patients were telling them, even if not a particularly important request. Good clean ward, really noticed the difference from last time I was in. I was able to go home at the end of the following day, and was told I would be sent to the Discharge Lounge, which I was a bit unsure about - however, it was a very pleasant experience, with lovely staff - particularly the sister- and they offered lots of hot or cold drinks, snack boxes, and I got my meals while there. Please don't be put off if it is suggested you wait there. (It's nothing like sitting in a seat near the front door, which is what I feared it would be!) It's mainly for people awaiting transport, but helps to free a bed if you can't get a lift for a while. So....I had a much better experience this time, and it may not be the same in every case, but I think things might be improving....I certainly found all the staff to be in much better humour than on previous visits, which perhaps indicates that they are feeling a change too? I hope so, but there is a long way to go as they still seem to be under an awful lot of pressure in some areas.

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Response from Cumberland Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to describe your experience at the Cumberland Infirmary. I was delighted to read that you had a more positive time especially as you were concerned following previous times here in the hospital. It is lovely to hear that the hard work being done to address the levels of cleanliness and swift appropriate treatment is having a positive benefit for our patients. I do hope you are continuing to recover well. Helen North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

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