"My Ambulatory Care Unit experience"

About: Peterborough City Hospital

(as the patient),

I have the misfortune to need regular treatment at the ACU in Peterborough City Hospital. My illness can be tough enough to deal with. But i feel the sloppy, unsafe nursing I have had to endure week-in/week-out has been the absolute pits.

The unit is well resourced and has lots of staff; unfortunately most (but not all) the nurses have problems carrying out even the most basic clinical procedures safely or effectively i feel.

After a particularly spectacular incident recently, my GP was so concerned at the poor treatment he wrote to complain to the supervising consultant. On this occasion, a nurse had tried (and failed) to draw blood from my arm. So they took a large gauge needle and jammed it into my other wrist in the hope of finding a vein. The puncture site swelled up like a golf ball within a few seconds - the attending nurse was so panicked she ran out of the room to find some help (leaving the needle poking out of my wrist). With some help from another staff member, the swelling was suppressed by squeezing the wound for 5 minutes which was EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL.

After all this, I was expected to deliver a pint of blood without passing out. Thinking th eMobile was  done, the nurse left me in the room unattended for over half an hour with blood draining into an IV bag - no call bell or means of summoning help.

Sure enough, after 40 minutes the IV bag was so full to bursting it fell on the floor and almost burst, ripping the cannula partway out of my wrist. The resulting bruising took over a month to heal and I was unable to use that arm for a week due to the swelling.

I have struggled to raise my concerns when things go wrong - the unit routinely ignores complaints and doesn't provide the Trust mandated complaints information in the unit.

I feel senior staff seem not to know (or care) what is happening on the unit day to day.

I feel any decent nursing staff seem to disappear to other units, 

I feel there are some good staff there but they are suffocated by incompetent management. They know what good practice looks like but don't get the management support to deliver it.

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Response from Lesley Crosby, Deputy Chief Nurse, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I am so sorry to read about your experience and would urge you, if you have not done so already, to raise your issues as a formal complaint if you believe your concerns were not responded to. We would be keen to learn from your experience and can advise you that multiple changes have taken place in ACU as a result of feedback received from a patient who also raised concerns of a very similar nature to yours. However clearly the actions we have taken have not resolved all of the issues and that is why we would be keen to hear from you as well.

Our formal complaints staff can be contacted on complaints@pbh-tr.nhs.uk


Lesley Crosby

Deputy Chief Nurse

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful