"I thank the staff in all categories ..."

About: Lister Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I thank the staff in all categories for the way in which they looked after me, and made me feel cared for. This applies to Doctors, nurses, housekeeping staff, and the specialist staff in pathology, x-ray, etc. I have heard and read many criticisms of Lister, but can honestly say that I was impressed by the overall standard of care that I received during my 8 day stay. I expect to return for further treatment and I await my recall with a relaxed feeling of confidence.

What could be improved

There were 2 areas where I feel there is room for improvement, and I make these observations in a constructive manner, and not in the way of complaint. Firstly concerning nurses' responses when a patient summons help. I was receiving blood transfusion, and a porter wheeled me back to the MAA ward, on by bed, from the x-ray dept. He must have pushed me too far in because as I used the control to lower the bed the pole, on which the blood pack was hung, caught on the wall panel and was lifted out of its socket. The pole, complete with blood pack crashed to the floor behind the head of the bed and the lockers. I was now restricted in movement by the drip in my arm. A fellow patient called for help. The nurses were all congregated a few feet away by the station. One of them said they would be there in a minute. After 10 minutes the patient called them again, and was told they were doing handover and would be in when it had finished. Finally it did finish and a nurse came in, not to see to me, but to do the 'obs'. I had to call her to help me.

In the morning I was off drips, and allowed to the bathroom to wash. While showering I noticed a lot of blood on the floor and saw that the canular had come out of my arm. I pulled the red alarm cord for help......no response. I stemmed the bleeding with my face flannel, wrapped my towel around me, used the shower to wash the blood off the door, washbasin and floor. Still no one had answered the call for help. I returned to my bay where I found a nurse pushing the obs trolley!

I know from observation that patients often call the nurses for very trivial reasons, and this may lead the nurses to view patient alarms as a nuisance. I also understand the difficulty in responding during handover time. However, I feel that a prompt assessment should be made in response to a call for help, and assistance can then be given immediately or deferred as the case dictates. A lot can go wrong in just a few minutes.

Anything else?

One other area of concern was when I used the shower on the main ward. I felt something stick into the heel of my right foot. On inspection this was a splinter of glass which I was able to pull out. I took it to the nursing station and handed it to a nurse who looked at it and threw it in the bin. End of story! I had expected that she would perhaps examine my heel to satisfy herself that all was OK. I had expected that the shower room would immediately be closed until it had been thoroughly cleaned. On the contrary, when I used the shower the next morning there was evidence that it had not been cleaned at all since my previous visit.

Despite these 2 areas I have highlighted, I reiterate my overall impression of having been looked after by a conscientious and caring staff, who carry out a difficult job in demanding circumstances. Well done and thank you all.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Lister Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent experiences here at the Lister. While pleased at how good you felt about your overall treatment, we too were concerned about the accounts of how our nursing staff failed at times to respond properly to the important issues that you raised.

Speaking with colleagues, we all agree that in each of the three incidents that you related, the response you received was simply not good enough - and for that we apologise. But we would like to do more and make sure that the matron in charge of the ward you were on is aware of what happened, so that a closer look can be taken in to the general quality of nursing on the ward in question.

This is where we do need some more help from you - would you mind e-mailing us (generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net) with the details of the ward on which you were on so that we can make sure that the right matron is involved. If you prefer to remain anonymous, we will respect your wishes in that regard by the way.

Finally - and this is a more general point for both you and anyone reading this response - there is something patients and/or their carers can do while in hospital if they have any concerns about the care they are receiving: talk to the sister in charge of the ward. If, and it can be for any reason, that feels uncomfortable, we have around 30 matrons working across our hospitals, each covering specific groups of wards. Patients can ask to speak with the matron covering their area or if very urgent, the on-call duty matron. Part of their role is to pick up and rectify the sorts of issues you described above.

Our matrons are also expert in resolving patients’ concerns in ways that preserve good relationships with the nursing staff caring for them - something that patients often worry about if they raise such issues through what feel like more official channels.

We hope that this response helps and that you will e-mail with us the details of the ward you were on so that we can look in to the matter more closely. Finally we would like to wish you a speedy recovery and good health for the future.

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