"Intensive Care - the attention ..."

About: Bedford Hospital South Wing

(as the patient),

What I liked

Intensive Care - the attention to detail & patient need was exemplary, & I felt extremely safe there. Also, the consultant was professional & informative. It's just a shame that many of his instructions were never carried out.

What could be improved

I had the misfortune to be treated on a surgical ward, & with a very few exceptions - three - the nursing care was a disgrace. No one answered bells, & in our bay we counted them to see how many times they rang day & night just out of sheer frustration! I was in several weeks & witnessed poor care on many occasions - drinks left out of reach, no help with eating & then being removed & patients left to care for themselves who clearly couldn't manage. On one occasion a patient asked for toast after vomiting all night, & was told the toaster was broken. Within minutes, the nurse concerned stood in the ward eating toast & drinking a hot drink, in full view of all of us. Also, I don't understand why it's not possible to have my own anti sickness medication 20 minutes early but it's OK to wait over three hours late for the antibiotics via my drip. We swiftly realised there was no point asking for help because "we're too busy". Patients were left repeatedly asking for pain control until reduced to tears - what chance does it have of working then? The whole impression was no-one would listen, & if they did it was then a battle to get what you needed. The night I came out of intensive care no-one came near me for 12 hours & I couldn't move & was in exactly the same position next morning. I am a strong person, but was reduced by this experience to physical & mental exhaustion. And I don't believe conversations in the bay when carrying out the care between the nurses relating to who they went out with last night, how much they drank & what happened next are necessary. I certainly felt vulnerable & I'm not elderly.

Anything else?

I would discharge myself from the accident department if I ever had to go to this ward again. It's a shame because the very small minority who try to help are overwhelmed by those who don't appear to give a toss, & having been on Shand Ward where the care was lovely & the staff were kind & interested I know it can be better. Incidentally, I did try. I asked to see PALS whilst I was in & was told by them over the phone that it "was a clinical matter & had to be sorted with the ward staff". As most patients don't have the stamina to address it when they go home, is this a tactic to avoid any confrontation?

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Response from Bedford Hospital South Wing

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on the NHS Choices website.

We would encourage you to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01234 795814 or via email to pals@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk. Your comment mentions you attempted to contact the service while you were an inpatient and were told they were unable to help. PALS, alongside ward staff, should have been able to offer you advice and assistance during your time in hospital and we apologise if this was not the case. If you are able to contact PALS to discuss the concerns you have raised in more detail, we can ensure the issues you mention are fully investigated.

We want to ensure patients' experience of their care and treatment at Bedford Hospital is positive and your detailed feedback about your stay will help us to ensure improvements and changes are made where necessary.

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