"Do The Nurses Actually care?"

About: New Cross Hospital

Having seen my Father-in-law die and my Mother nearly die in New Cross this year I have no trust whatsoever in the level of care from the majority of the nursing staff.

My father in law went in with a simple infection which was quickly medically treated. He was due to go home on the Monday, but a 'bug' on the ward meant he couldn't be discharged. He had dementia and was unable to do much for himself or communicate his needs - four days after being fit enough to leave - he died of kidney failure caused by dehydration!

My mother went into hospital with a digestive problem - she does have a heart condition, but had been very well up to this point. First of all, she was not given any of her usual medication for two days - it had all been taken in with her and placed clearly on her locker, the 'sister' was barely interested when I showed concern and until I pointed the drugs out claimed there weren't any there. My mother also wears compression stockings to assist her heart - she needs help to put them on, depite requests and pleading they were not used and her legs filled with fluid. This rendered her virtually immobile and put strain on her heart.

I feared my mother would have a heart attack and indeed she eventually did - throughout the stay it was apparent that the buzzers are ignored - and it was some hours before she got any help.

Her condition continued to deteriorate and we continued to be worried & disgusted by the general nursing 'care' - compassion was in short supply (a couple of nurses were very kind and caring), empathy was absolute zero (and some nurses were plain rude).

I know we hear of nurses being overworked, but I saw no evidence - I saw plenty of leaning on desks and chatting - I saw them ignoring buzzers - totally ignoring bleeping machines and sauntering around with an air of boredom!

In the final week of my mother's stay. She had become virtually helpless with weakness and asked a nurse for some water - the answer to her request was "what's wrong with your arms?" No, she wasn't given any water. Next, she needed a commode, having been given a laxative the need was fairly urgent and she explained this. When it arrived, almost an hour later, it was too late - my mother was horrified and humiliated - she was told that "there are other patients you know". That was enough for me, I would like to say that I demanded that she be allowed home, but I think I begged instead. To my surprise and joy she was discharged!

I don't expect the nurses to surround their patients with love, but I do expect them to respect them as human beings and have empathy in abundance - why become a nurse if you really don't care?

Having said all that - I must add that every doctor that I spoke to was absolutely fantastic. They were clearly very busy, but always made to time to listen to concerns, explain things fully and they really did seem to care about their patients as individuals rather than just 'cases'.

So, 10/10 the doctors - the nurses - Shame on you

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Response from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to share with us your comments relating to your father-in-law and mother's patient experience at our hospital. I am sorry for any distress that this matter has caused and please may I pass on my sincere condolences to you and your family regarding the loss of your father-in-law.

To enable me to look further into your concerns, I would be grateful if you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01902 695362.

Kindest regards

Judith Davis

Patient Experience Services Manager