"Could do better"

About: Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

My mother's visit to this hospital started through an ambulance admission to A&E - the night time staff were not particularly helpful but the daytime staff were very caring and informative - we were in A&E for 14 hours waiting for transfer to a ward (so much for the 4 hour waiting target) and then given a 'friends and family questionnaire' - I thought these were supposed to be given at the end of the hospital stay?!

Then she was transferred to the Surgical Assessment Unit, a holding area which is clearly understaffed.

Nurse call buzzers were left unanswered for such a long time it was worrying - what if people were calling them as an emergency?

One patient asked me to help them into bed as 'the nurses were too busy' and another patient needed help opening a bottle of water as she had been left without any water.

My mum also was diagnosed with dehydration (among other things) and was given a drip.

However, several times the needle was not put in correctly leading to my mother's left arm, right hand and left hand all swelling up successively as the nurses put the needle in again and again - although this didn't happen quickly because there were so few nurses that were actually qualified to do this.

In addition the IV line frequently went wrong and stopped, this caused an alarm to ring which was left unanswered for ages.

In addition, very little water was provided.

Not great treatment for someone who is dehydrated.

Also, a bowl full of someone's blood was left in the ladies toilet for hours - that was absolutely disgusting and shameful.

If they had more staff these things would probably not be an issue.

After that there was the transfer to ward 25 - a place with many more nurses but many of them seemed to spend a lot of their time standing in groups chatting about what they were going to do at the weekend.

Patients had to leave their stool samples in the toilet for the nurses to collect but this was done so infrequently that they started having to write their names on the cardboard containers.

On the one day my mum was well enough to use the shower, the bottom of her trouser legs ended up covered in someone else's faeces from the bathroom floor - yuck!

The doctors never seemed to bother about explaining what was wrong with my mother, when she asked one doctor what was happening the doctor rolled her eyes and sighed before telling her - is a diagnosis from a doctor too much to ask for? 7 anxious days later my mother was finally discharged.

I was told I would get a phone call from a nurse, but my mum actually ended up having to call me.

I told one of the nurses at the desk I was here to collect 'my mother' and she said 'please do', she never asked who I was collecting - it could have been any of the patients!

Definitely there's room for improvement - nursing levels/competence/willingness to work!

Hygiene - the beds were kept clean but what about the bathrooms?!

Basic care - keeping people hydrated is obvious isn't it?

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your feedback.

I am so sorry to hear about your mother's experience whist she was an in-patient at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

I will ensure that I share your experience with the Matrons and Ward Managers for the areas you have mentioned.

However, if you would like to contact us on 01743 261691 with your details we will be able to investigate this more thoroughly for you.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Team

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