"Chaotic - lack of communication. Lost a stone..."

About: University Hospital Lewisham / Cardiology

I spent 11 days at UHL although the first 30 or so we're in A&E. Despite several requests for water in A&E is was curly informed I could not have a jug to myself. Left for several hours without water until new nurse identified I was dehydrated and a drip was organised. I spent time in 5 different rooms once admitted. I saw several different doctors whose approach differed. One Dr told me he was going to prescribe an additional blood pressure reducing drug - until I informed him I had been taken off medication in the middle of the night as my BP was too low. His response was to say "oh" after which he left me.

I never saw him again.

Transport was not arranged for me to transfer to Kings for an angiogram as it should have been, leading to panic and anxiety.

Conditions were unhygienic. One patient had a habit of smearing faeces around. When I went in the bathroom after her on more than one occasion I told staff I couldn't use it due to urine and faeces on floor, toilet and grab rails. The response was "We know".

On my eventual return home I had an infection and temperature of 104 degrees for a week - could only have got it in hospital.

Mealtimes were chaotic. On one day breakfast arrived at 10.15am. Lunch a couple of hours later. Dinner was served about 7.30pm. Food was very variable - some meals were ok but others were really horrid (e.g. veg that was so overcooked it almost dissolved when I tried to pick a piece up with my fork). Portions were TINY. e.g. a piece of sweet potato the size of a matchbox and one overcooked florette of cauliflower.

I always chose fruit for dessert but it came in a portion about 4 - 5 teaspoons.

I was constantly hungry for first few days but after that my appetite reduced and I'm still struggling to get back to normal portions

Despite being almost completely inactive for 11 days I lost over a stone by the time I returned home. I was also suffering severe constipation (partly due to medication but not helped by diet). I informed staff about this from about day 4. No help given until day 9 by which time it was causing significant pain.

I was told on 17.01.18 that I was being discharged that day.

I asked if this was definite and was told yes. My friend drove all the way from Surrey to take me home only to be told Dr had not signed off meds so had to stay another night.

Nobody available to collect me on 18th I was told transport would be arranged. It wasn't.

A porter wheeled me to a phone by Urgent Care unit. I had to call a cab and porter then parked me by automatic doors dressed in thin clothing and by time cab arrived I was blue with cold - having been diagnosed with cardiac problem!

There were loads of other problems with mix ups/delays over medication etc but not enough space here for details.

I was traumatised by my experience at this hospital.

It's understaffed and under resourced chaotic and frankly, scary.

Story from NHS Choices

Responses

Response from Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

We’re sorry that your experience of our services has been so negative.

We are not able to look into the concerns you have raised without more detail so would you please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at pals.lewisham@nhs.net or on 020 8333 3355 so that we can take the matter forward.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Team

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