"Poorly trained nurses on Cringleford Ward"

About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital

(as the patient),

I stayed on the Cringleford Ward for six days for a Cushings work-up. During the stay you have drugs and blood tests which are timed in order to measure the level of the stress hormone cortisol. It is vital for the results that timings of drugs and blood tests are carried out correctly and that the patient is in a relaxed atmosphere.

My experience on the Cringleford ward was that while some nurses were conscientious, the majority were incredibly lackadaisical. So much so that I had to chase them up both for tablets and blood tests. Some just plain forgot, one nurse went to a meeting and the tablet was 25 minutes late. The 3 am tablet one night was 20 minutes early and the last blood test on the morning I left was 25 minutes late, the nurse seemingly wasn’t concerned at all. I had to chase them up twice. The effect of this was that I became very stressed and upset.

When I saw my consultant for the results, he diagnosed a slightly raised cortisol level which is not normal. However, when I told him how stressed and upset I had been, he revised the diagnosis as this would have been the cause of the increase in cortisol levels. When you think of the seriousness of Cushings Syndrome and the consequences of a wrong diagnosis, let alone the costs of spending six days in hospital, it is unacceptable that the outcome could be dependent on the un-professional work and attitude of some of the nursing staff.

I was told that rather than having this done at the Norwich Spire Hospital as first planned, it was recommended that I had it done at the N & N because of the trained nursing staff. All I can say is that while a few were very good, the majority were sadly lacking and are, in my opinion, in dire need of some re-training. I found their attitude towards causing stress completely unacceptable.

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Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Patient

We are sorry to hear about the delays in getting your medication on time and for the distress that this has caused, particularly when it has affected the results of your tests. We will ensure that the ward staff are aware of the issues you have raised and the effect it has had on your care. If you would like to take this further and make a formal complaint, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service in the first instance on pals@nnuh.nhs.uk

Kind regards

Janice Bradfield

Senior Communications Manager

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