"Poor experience of care at Countess of Chester"
About: Countess Of Chester Hospital Countess Of Chester Hospital Chester CH2 1UL
Posted by GMB (as ),
It is now two years since my beloved husband was uncared for in the Countess of Chester Hospital when suffering from terminal cancer. Many of the nurses on the ward simply carried out routine checks and I felt they made no attempt whatsoever to make him comfortable.
I had to beg for water, when nil by mouth notices were left up longer than I felt was needed, meals came not as ordered, such as two bowls of the same insipid soup, and one calorie yoghurt for a patient who needed some energy. Trays were left uncleared for hours, and some sinks were blocked with foul water.
We had to appeal for an appointment with the consultant and spent two days with no information about a surgical procedure that was due, then postponed.
I felt a Macmillan nurse was patronising and was entrusted with medical decisions about treatment which were beyond her remit. She kept me waiting once for two hours beyond the appointed time, when I was hoping to bring my husband home. Since she ordered a blood transfusion, bringing him home was delayed by a precious two days as the transfusion was suspended overnight because it was not an emergency.
As a result, when I arrived at 10am to take him home, where he would die peacefully in the care of his family, the transfusion had not restarted, beds were unmade, curtains not drawn back. It was 4pm. before we brought him home. Futhermore I believe that his chances of survival were lessened because his operation eighteen months earlier only took place 10 weeks after diagnosis and because chemotherapy was delayed by MRSA contracted at the hospital.
Although we have always supported the NHS and my husband never complained, I would urge others to consider all the options, keep asking questions and be prepared to speak out when care and cleanliness are below standard. Nurses should leave the station more, have better communication when shifts change over, and be better supervised. Consultants should be approachable and not hide behind the wall of secrecy that is excused by the mantra of confidentiality.
I normally give praise where it is due. I could not bring myself to write a card, say thank you or donate to hospital funds nor to Macmillan Care as a result of this experience.