"Nursing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn"

About: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

This is a summary of my own personal experiences, and my (many) observations of others who have been patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn.

I believe the main problem here is in the recruitment, training, supervision and management of nurses.

It seems to me they are recruiting people who haven't the personal qualities necessary to be nurses. I feel they recruit people who have academic potential instead of those who have genuine empathy and caring qualities. The outcome of this for me was that nurses are looking after patients who seem not to actually care about their patients welfare, recovery and health.

I found supervision to be non-existent. Generally, (with the exception of acute staff in A+E, Intensive Care and High Dependency wards), I felt the staff nurses were lazy, uninterested, and more interested in paperwork than actually touching a patient. This they left to Auxiliaries or student nurses. I thought the auxiliaries seem to rule the ward and the students thought they knew everything.

I felt as if the staff morale was appalling and it’s clear to me the hospital is an awful place to work if the patient experience is a guide. It seemed to me no one respects the needs of the patients and don't get me started on hospital food. From my experience, this hospital skimped so much on food quality and preparation which makes me think that a serious study is needed. Maybe the nurses need to realise they have a role in nutrition.

When ever I had the temerity to complain the same tired old reply is wheeled out every time; It goes like this;1. we are sorry this happened, 2. this has never happened before, 3. your experience is unique, 4. we've made sure it won't happen again. When I have pursued it further, mysteriously either my notes go missing or the relevant documents go missing. I think the complaints process changes nothing and is a waste of time.

Also, I feel the amount of pointless paperwork filled in on a daily basis has more to do with the system protecting itself than it has to delivering patient care or protecting the patient. I strongly believe if more resources were put to delivering basic nursing care in the first place instead of filling in paperwork, if more resources were given to training students that nursing is all about care instead of management or glamour, then there would be fewer complaints and less need to fill in pointless bits of paper that are on the whole ignored unless something goes wrong.

I think nurses, doctors, consultants and therapists would improve care if they actually listened to both the patient and the relatives instead of jumping in with both feet and assuming from day one that they know all the answers. Relatives have been caring for their patients for years and I think are worth listening to, and patients know their bodies better than the nurses etc. During my stay a Sister twice was about to give me what amounted to a drug error were it not for my own vigilance.

I feel all my points above need a closer look by the Commissioners of the hospital.

A close relative was admitted to a care of the Elderly ward and I believe would have died were it not for the fact that we devoted ourselves to making sure she was fed and looked after. Without us she would have had food left on a tray and wouldn't have been fed; the times we weren't able to be there gave testament to this fact.

There are too many incidences at this hospital that cannot be allowed to continue not addressed. I think either senior management don't know how bad nursing care some patients think is or they don't care. In my opinion, neither option is particularly good. I also feel the system of inviting comment is flawed because people are scared that if they complain as an in-patient or a relative as an in-patient they will be punished. I don’t feel that honesty is a component of system led surveys.

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