"Nursing health care assistants ..."

About: Freeman Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Nursing health care assistants generally very good, treated me with the respect due to a human being. Doctors always polite and generally informative, treated me as an individual

What could be improved

most Staff nurses definitely lacked compassion in an area where treatment needs to include treating people psychologically as well as medically. Cancer is a very scary disease, if NHCA's and Drs can treat people decently why can't staff nurses, some nurses where really nice and reassuring, unfortunately, this was not the general rule. I am aware i can only speak of my own experiences, but i was not the only patient to feel this way

Anything else?

I believe the Matron should be more obvious, this hospital has a problem with Barrier Nursing and the staff clearly resent being asked to carry out the correct procedures, indeed, they had great difficulty with this. Surely the Matron should be checking this procedure is correctly carried out where needed. My room was never thoroughly cleaned during my stay

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Response from Freeman Hospital

Caring for cancer patients in an acute hospital environment is extremely challenging for all staff involved whether they be qualified and unqualified, nursing, medical or otherwise. The role of the cancer nurse on the in patient wards is especially demanding, requiring a wealth of skills and abilities which is developed and enhanced with experience and ongoing training and education. All staff are expected to behave with compassion and understanding at all times to all patients and families and there is a wealth of positive feedback from our customers which would advise us that this is the experience for the vast majority of patients cared for on our wards. For some patients and families however, their experience is not as good as it could be and we welcome constructive comments such as this in order that we can learn from them and use them to improve our services. We will be sure to encourage discussion and debate within the Directorate and where failings of this nature are indentified we will address them without delay.

Matron is based on the ward and endeavours to spend as much time as possible, out and about around the Directorate. I am sorry that you were not aware of her input. It may be that because you were being barrier nursed during your time here, that no unnecessary contacts should have occurred and matron would have been unlikely to visit in this situation. This is an important learning point and one that we will give further consideration in order to bring about improvements for others.

We are especially mindful of the need for very high standards of hygiene within the Directorate as many of our patients do not have healthy immune systems hence the need for barrier nursing. Barrier nursing patients with poor immunity to infection has long been part of the role of a cancer nurse and I am concerned that your perception was that staff are not comfortably adhering to Trust policy in this regard. Matron will investigate your observations without delay and where necessary remedial action will be taken. Matron is very involved with maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness in the Directorate.

Thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns, and providing us with the opportunity to further improve the service to our patients.

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