"Building looks great, contents disappointing...."

About: The Tunbridge Wells Hospital

The building is amazing. Modern, cleaned by great enthusiastic friendly staff. Then the medical staff... Well. It is total pot luck as to what sort of service and attitude you receive from the medically trained staff. In a nutshell, it seemed the more senior the staff, the less bedside manner they had with my sick Father, and my Mother, wife and son as caring relatives. I know the NHS is stretched financially and human resource wise, but the level of indifference within the confines of this hospital (perhaps it is also wider on a national scale), is totally unacceptable IMHO. Whilst in A&E one of the nurses actually had a conversation outside my father's cubicle of how they "can't wait to get out of here. 3 more weeks and I am on leave. It can't come to soon, I've had enough of this place." Well, these types of casual conversations in front of patients seem commonplace throughout the hospital. Something which I think is a serious lack of professionalism, and it is these types of overheard conversations that create serious doubt in the abilities of the staff having those conversations. If you work at the Pembury site and read this, you know who you are if you engage in this type of chatting with your colleagues. I would ask you to do this: When you think you are having a bad day, and your job sucks, and you want to vent. Stop. Pause a moment. Look around. Are you near or within hearing distance of someone who is having a worse day than you? Yes? That's it, the patients you are there to help. Then do yourself the professional courtesy of biting your tongue, and taking your grievances elsewhere. If you have time to talk to your colleagues, then why not try talking to one of your patients instead? About something other than how little staff there are. Anyway, back to A&E. So my Father has acute and severe Pneumonia. He is admitted via paramedics to A&E at 16:30 on a Thursday evening after receiving paramedics' stabilising treatment at home for 2 hours (who are absolutely A+++++ by the way - on all fronts. Respectful, courteous, humourous, medically on the ball etc etc). He is finally moved from A&E into the "Medical Assessment Unit" or MAU (which I will get back to in bit) at 03:00 Friday morning. He remains there for 3 days, until he has a "heart event" – oh the terminology has changed a lot in medicine – where upon he is moved to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) for 3 days. Wow what a change, the staff on CCU were all extremely professional, courteous, respectful, informative, and – the main point of being in the healthcare profession IMHO – attentive. Yes, they actually looked after my old man. CCU are exemplary in what all the medical staff at this hospital should behave like. Take note. I see I am running out of review space now, so will continue this another review shortly (when I get the time to write it - in between checking in on the old man to see if he is being taken care of well or not!). Watch this space

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Dear Timmy, thank you for taking the time to review your experiences of Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

Your observations around the bedside manner of senior staff and how conversations between staff are received by patients and relatives are welcomed.

How we interact with patients and their families is a subject we spend a lot of time focusing on, as we appreciate that our communication with service users plays an important part in delivering high quality healthcare, which people feel confident about.

We're sorry that we didn't acknowledge receipt of your comments at the time, but can assure you that all feedback left via NHS Choices is reviewed and shared with the teams involved to support service improvement.

Kind regards, The PALS Team.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful