"Hospital experience was good and bad"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was admitted to hospital twice in 2007 with acute abdominal pain. On the second occasion I had an appendectomy and was cured, for which I thank the staff at the RHH, many of whom were caring, conciencious individuals.

There were however several occasions when things didn't seem quite right.

The first time I was admitted I was told by the doctor that certain tests would be done that day, nothing happened, and then the next day I was told that they would be doing something else, which then didn't happen?? Eventually feeling better after being given antibiotics I was sent home. A few days later I was back at my GPs with the same problem, to be told by my GP that I had had my gall bladder removed. I had not actually had surgery but the letter to the GP said I had??

I was then admitted to a different ward, again there appeared to be little correlation between the doctors requests and what actually happened for the rest of the day on the ward? In addition when one shift went home there was little continuity of care, new staff often made new decisions and disregarded what their colleagues had said earlier?

Many of the patients needed to have the amount of fluid they passed monitored and were told to leave their urine in trays in the toilets. On some days the nursing staff were very efficient at removing these whilst on others these mounted up and it was not possible to go to the toilet without removing these yourself and tip toeing around the ones placed on the floors. This was very dependent on the nursing team. One sister was very efficient and was always on top of everything despite a staff shortage, whilst another sister was very laid back and was more interested in standing at the nurses station gossiping about her last night out.

Eventually I had surgery, for which I am very thankful, but a day after the operation I felt dreadful and told the 'laid back' sister, who seemed a bit annoyed. She asked a colleague to check my obs. My blood pressure and heart rate were OK but my temperature wasn't taken as they had run out of the caps they place on the ear thermometer. As my bed was very close to the nurses station I then heard the sister huff 'I knew there was nothing wrong with her'. I then spent the rest of the day being told to walk around when I felt very ill.

Eventually at about 8pm I had my temperature taken, within 5 minutes I had a senior doctor at my bed hooking me up to fluid bags and telling me I had a nasty high temperature and would need an MRI scan. I was thankful for his swift attention and grateful for the closer care I received after that. On the fourth day after my operation I was given an injection of heparin, when I asked why they were giving this to me now I was told I should have received it each day after my operation, but no one had written it up on my drug card.

Lastly I never really understood why the nursing staff closed the blinds and dimmed the lights in the afternoon and told the patients to have a sleep, then many of them proceeded to chat loudly, laughing and joking at the nurses station keeping everyone awake!!

I do feel thankful for the care I received in that I was made better, but I was glad to get out of there and felt that there was definitiely room for improvement, which I hope now has happened.

Having said all this, whenever I or my husband have received out patient care at the RHH it has been excellent!!

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