"Ward 28 (Orthopaedics) - On this Ward for 9 days..."

About: Bradford Royal Infirmary

This review and the ratings I have given relate to the regular staff on Ward 28 (not the Doctors). [Please read my separate reviews on Doctors / A&E / Ward 27 / the Porters] Moved to Ward 28 after spending 5 days on Ward 27. The first noticeable difference was the sound of the constant call-bells, noticeable not because louder but because they went on for longer. Why? Because the short-staffing that existed on Ward 27 also existed on Ward 28, but the Plastics patients on 27 were mainly patients who were mobile. On 28 it was rare for patients to be independently mobile. As per Ward 27, the role of the nursing staff was prioritising the needs and care of those on the Ward, choosing between those who were most in need of care. Everyone received the care and treatment they needed, again (as per Ward 27) some just had to wait longer for it, and unnecessarily so. I cannot stress enough that this was not the fault of the nursing staff (nurses, HCAs, domestics, cleaners), they were doing an amazing job. The best way to describe it was that they were ‘spinning plates’ in the hope that if one plate did fall then it would be one of the smaller plates. It was unbelievable that the nurses were actually walking at a pace that could be described as ‘running’ to get to each patient. The call bells on Ward 28 after 8:00pm were even longer than they were during the day; but always answered. On one particular night a staff nurse who had started work at 7:30am that morning was still working at around 10:00pm. Upon asking the nurse why this was, the nurse simply confirmed that an agency nurse had failed to show up for work and this nurse didn’t want to leave their other two colleagues on duty that night short-staffed. Just one example of the commitment and dedication shown by the nursing staff. Question for the hospital managers - if the nurse that I have just described had make a mistake in administering medication which led to a serious impact on one of the patients on the Ward, what support would you have given that nurse, if any? After working at least a 14½ hour shift, and possibly longer, would it be the case that the focus would be on any mistake made by the nurse rather than the fact that the Ward was so badly short-staffed to begin with that it should be more than reasonably anticipated that an Agency nurse not turning up could have such a severe impact? Please get real and give the nursing staff enough resources to do their job safely, effectively and timeously. I doubt very much that any of the hospital managers would be doing a 12 hour shift, let alone staying at least a further 2½ hours to ensure the safety and continuity of care of patients. Finally, thank you to all the Staff Nurses, HCAs, Domestics, and Cleaners on Ward 28; you do a wonderful job in difficult circumstances with compassion, caring and commitment. This hospital and the NHS would not be what it is without you.

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Response from Bradford Royal Infirmary

Many thanks, I will make sure that the team see your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience.

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