"Lack of basic nursing care"

About: Victoria Hospital / General Surgery Victoria Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I will start this review by admitting I have been a qualified nurse/midwife for nearly 30 yrs.

My admission experience to Ward 32 began by arriving at 7am on the morning of my surgery. I arrived at 6:50 rang the intercom outside the ward to be told to take a seat in the waiting area, when the nurse eventually arrived, 20 min later, there was no introductions. My partner was told to go, as he was not allowed on the ward at this time in case women were in their nightwear. There were no instructions as to when to phone to enquire or visiting times.

I was taken to an admission room, by the same nurse, still no introductions, she completed the admission proceedure in a very chaotic manner, including having no cotton wool when taking my bloods. Still with no introductions. I was then shown round to my bed area, not shown the call bell or where the toilet was.

Once the admission nurse left the other staff were polite and everyone introduced themselves. I was well informed of procedures. The theatre staff were all amazing, as were recovery. On return to the ward the post op care was as expected.

My concerns I have to raise are about the lack of basic care.

1) My operation was performed under spinal anaesthetic with sedation, I therefore could not move independently, at no time post op were my feet/ legs moved or pressure areas checked. I was to remain in bed for 24 hrs. I am a fit healthy woman in my 40s but even so my heels were very sore when the spinal block wore off.

2) I returned from theatre late morning, my spinal site was never looked at, this should be part of post op observations.

3) I was never offered a wash / a chance to freshen up. In fact the inco pad on the bed was never changed from returning from theatre till I got up 24 hrs later. I had to ask for a bowl to clean my teeth. This displays a lack of the basics in my opinion.

4) The following morning I had drains catheter etc removed and still no offer of assistance to get up for a shower or freshen up. Due to the analgesia I had I was feeling quite dizzy and light headed but was told just to go for a shower, bearing in mind I had been in bed for 28 hrs at this point.

The ward was not overly busy and staffing levels appeared to be good. The staff were polite and friendly, everyone with exception of the admission nurse introduced themselves, and had time to care.

I just have to voice my concerns about the lack of basic nursing care and comfort care. I am sad that my profession has come to this.

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear tartantyke

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience in ward 32 which has already been read and discussed amongst the Senior Nursing Team.

There is a clear concensus that what you describe is not an acceptable level of care and Ms A Ciarletta, Clinical Nurse Manager has asked me to request that you make contact to enable her to deal with the issues you raise directly. Please consider calling me on 01592 648069.


Louise Ewing

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