"The cancer specialist treatment ..."

About: Bedford Hospital South Wing

(as a relative),

What I liked

The cancer specialist treatment centre at Bedford Hospital are amazing - really excellent nurses and Doctors. Professional, caring, informed, supportive but honest - I couldn't fault their service to my relative. Thank you so much for everything you did ... it made a real difference to us as a family to know that our relative was in such good hands with you all.

What could be improved

The general standard of nursing care on the wards where my relative was treated was, on the whole, very poor. Also, one of the Doctors appeared very uncaring, lacking in empathy and understanding of patient need and, in particular, was extremely rough when treating my relative.

On the whole, with the exception of a couple of nurses, the nursing care was not good. I witnessed this with my own relative but also saw it with many other patients. For example, elderly patients were left to eat on their own when clearly they were confused and infirm - on one occasion, the elderly person was left lying down and not even sat up for his meal. People called out for help and had to wait way too long for a nurse to respond (I often helped them instead or had to run and find a nurse to help).

In my opinion, there were not enough nursing staff on these 2 wards - AND perhaps the ones that do go to work are really demotivated and hacked off. Unfortunately, patient care suffers and mistakes were made (eg we felt like we have to watch my relative's medication dosages very carefully to prevent errors). But it was the lack of a care and supportive attention that made my relative's stay stressful and, in the end, unbearable. We got them moved to another NHS hospital in the end.

Anything else?

If you have a relative going into this Hospital, or you're going in yourself, please take heed. I hope this appears to be a balanced view because some nurses, Doctors and departments were truly excellent and couldn't be faulted. But, some were extremely poor. If you end up in one of these wards, then address matters with the hospital urgently or get yourself / your relative moved as soon as possible. Not surprised that, overall, Bedford Hospital is rated POOR !!! But it's a real shame for all those really professional staff that work there. Thank you again - I am sure you know who you are ...

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Bedford Hospital South Wing

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on Bedford Hospital NHS Trust's NHS Choices site.

If you have not yet done so, we would encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01234 795814 or email pals@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk to discuss the issues and concerns you have raised.

By contacting PALS and providing them with your details, staff will be able to look into the concerns you have raised about standards of care and ensure any issues are addressed.

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