""Smile, I have to come here every day""

About: Kettering General Hospital

I arrived on the ward at night following a long visit to A&E and was looked after well, however once the day staff arrived, members of staff were walking past my door looking at me as if I were a new exhibit in a zoo. When I did not smile at one member of staff because I had been through a very traumatic and difficult 24 hours, they walked past shouting "Smile, I have to come here every day". I was nil by mouth all day waiting to see if I could be fitted in for surgery and in this time only two members of the nursing staff introduced themselves to me and I felt as if I was being a nuisance when I needed help with anything. I had my surgery late that day and I felt relieved until the following morning! I had been led to believe that I would not be discharged until I felt comfortable on getting around with the aids provided however, one of the first things a member of staff said to me the following morning when giving me morphine for the pain I was in was "you are being transferred today then". I was not aware of this and said so. This nurse said no more. During the next couple of hours I did overhear my name being said a few times by people at the nurses station but no one came to talk to me until the Pysio therapy staff arrived to teach me how to use crutches etc at just after 9am. It was at this time someone mentioned that at home I should do a particular thing and I realised they were saying I was going home, I was confused and on strong pain relief so I said "Hang on am I being discharged this morning?" I was told yes, the lesson continued hurriedly I asked if my husband had been spoken to and they said this was going to be done. By around 10-10.30am my stuff was bundled into my bag and I was wheeled down to a storage room to wait in the wheelchair for my discharge letter and medication to go home with. Still dazed confused and now becoming scared, in pain and upset. I called my husband who said an Item had been delivered from the hospital but he was unaware that I was coming home today! At this point I became hysterical ! all of a sudden people took notice, my foot was elevated, I was given a cup of tea and a member of the team came to speak to me. I am a retired nurse myself and know how stressful it can be and have also had to be a patient on a number of occasions but have never known nursing staff to communicate so little or badly and treat a patient with such a lack of respect or care.

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to feedback on your recent admission. I am disappointed to read your comments as they very much fall short of my expectations of patient experience and care. Please could I ask you to make contact with the PALS team on 01536 493306 or 493305 so that the matters you have highlighted can be investigated further.

Kind regards

Sarah Florey, Lead Nurse for Orthopaedics, Head and Neck and Chronic Pain Services.

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