"Cornflower A ward was extremely ..."

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

(as the patient),

What I liked

Cornflower A ward was extremely clean, whilst the assessment unit felt seedy, dirty and downright depressing.

What could be improved

The assessment unit, or 'purgatory' as it was jokingly named by me and other patients was atrocious.

I should of known I was in for a bumpy ride when I had to wait 6 hours for some painkillers to begin with and the nurses stood next to me bickering with eachother like schoolgirls about my paperwork.

There were no windows, I was surrounded by elderly ladies whom I had to help whilst being sick myself because the nurses wouldn't. These women were told to shut up and be quiet.

They would leave these women, who relied on them to go to the toilet for hours whilst they helplessly left their alarms going for hours in the middle of the night trying to get someone to come and help them - alot of the time they would end up in tears because they had soiled themselves and were humiliated. I went to physically go and find nurses to make them come and attend to these poor women.

There was also no feeling of security (I was 5 minutes from the hospital front entrance with no staff around and an open ward to the main corridor), anyone could of walked in as the nurses unit was at the very end - in other words, any one just walking into the hospital could walk into our small ward and not one person would have noticed.

I had no idea what pills they were giving me, what my treatment was going to be or what I'd even been admitted for.

I can honestly say that my experience in the assessment unit has left me very upset - in particular, seeing elderly women being neglected.

I ended up with severe panic attacks from the lack of windows and my closed in little box in a dark dingy corner. My family had to fight very hard, every single day to keep me there.

They also poisoned me with a drug that I ended up being very allergic too and tried to convince me to stay on it when I showed them some very obvious allergy symptoms (ie bright red rash all over hands)

Anything else?

Being transferred to cornflower ward A was heavenly in comparison to the assessment unit - they had windows for starters (light - something you would assume a sick person may just need)

and being around some women my own age gave me people to talk too.

I was told off for asking for a nurse to take my blood pressure (which was one of my reasons for admittance). I sat there for about 3 days waiting for someone to tell me when/if I was having a scan - and then I was told i'd already had it when I had not.

To be honest - the nursing staff in this hospital seem like they have given up trying. There was the odd nurse who was lovely, but they were generally the cleaning nurses.

If you attempted to ask a nurse at the ward station to do their job - you would usually be ignored for about 20 minutes and then given dirty looks.

I have to stress that the doctors I saw were good at their jobs, if a little cold (but thats just doctors). Mind, they did not tell me a thing about what was happening with me but after having a reaction to the first drug, and with them about to put me on a similar drug, I am lucky I had a doctor who realised this was a very bad idea.

All in all - go somewhere else, really. Nobody should have to feel or see the things I did - it has stuck with me as one of the most traumatic experiences of mine to date, and this is from a person who nearly lost their mother to severe illness at 12.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››