"The surgical team were excellent ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The surgical team were excellent and I am very grateful for the skilled person I was treated by. The TRAINED nurses were also skilled and seemed professional.

What could be improved

- Immediately I was being returned to the ward (still 75% anaesthetised) after my operation, a massive row took place over my bed about oxygen equipment that another patient had charge of. Later, the patient tried to involve her visitors in shouting at me across the ward about this, whilst I was still unable to move or get out of bed, I was powerless to defend myself for something that was in no way my fault.

- One auxilliary barked and yelled at me when I was still in the same state, as I was distressed and wanted to know where my things were, as I was being moved. This was extremely insensitive and utterly distressing.

- I ended up being very distressed and feeling really bullied for being ill. This made me even more depressed.

- The anaesthetic affected me badly and I cried for days, feeling suicidal and confused.

- I kept my curtains closed for 2 days to prevent further bullying and asked them not to send that auxilliary to me again.

- I feel nursing staff did little to intervene, and were not really interested.

- From someone who entered the hospital in a positive frame of mind and fairly confident, I soon became a distressed and depressed wreck.

- I feel I was seen as a 'bad' patient, the staff just wanted to get rid of me.

Anything else?

-The ward was very short staffed. It took 3 hours sitting in an oven-like room before anyone came to say there was a bed available.

-I was frightened anyway, and when I was not issued with an arm band (especially for my allergies) until midnight, I was really scared. I started to imagine they would take me to theatre without knowing crucial information.

- I have confidence in the knowledge of the surgical team and professional nurses, but they only comprise part of the patient's experience. Basic things, such as enough oxygen equipment and treating a distressed patient with at least a degree of courtesy (if understanding and a polite response cannot be countenanced) when that patient is utterly vulnerable, seem to be lacking.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that your comments will be taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We are pleased to hear that your experience of the surgical team and the trained nurses was so positive. However we were very concerned to read your comments about other aspects of your experience as a patient with us.

This is certainly not the type of experience we would want anyone to have as a patient under our care. We strive to provide the highest standard of care possible and apologise unreservedly if we have not achieved this whilst caring for you on this occasion.

We urge you to contact us to discuss this further so that we can look into the issues raised in more detail and take action to ensure that future patients have a more positive experience.

You can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service by phone 0121 627 8820, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk , via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/Patients/Pals/Contact.aspx or in person by dropping in between 10am-4pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the main hospital entrance.

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