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"Could have been much worse."

About: Royal Free Hospital

What I liked

The ambience of the Royal Free was superb. A problem which concerned me was that vital information about me wasn't always handed over at shif time. The oer thing is that I suffer from a terminal neurological condition. I was given antibiotics which gave me constant projective diarrohea. The attitude of the nurses varied on this. Some would willingly help me to clean myself others made embittered comments. They had no idea of my terminal condition and frankly were abrasive. The nurses that did understand were exceptionally kind and never once made me feel guilty. Nobody likes to clean up faeces but it is part of the nursinfg role. I say this as an ex nurse. A matter of concern was that I rarely saw a Doctor. Of necessity, I hope, I was moved so many times on my ward to different rooms that there was no continuity of care nor passing on of information. I was very seriously ill but no or very little notice was taken of this by a percentage of nurses. It is important to register that a lot of my coments do not apply to all of the nurses. A high number were exceptional and I wish they were still caring for me now.

What could be improved

Obviously a ward is very busy but I found myself lonely and feeling very isolated. I could not discuss my problems save for with a few nurses. Let me say that the nurses who were good were examplary. They were kind, genle and compassonate. This was found from male nurses and nurses occupying very senior positions. Communication springs long and hard when I think of what could be improved. After shift change only one nurse knew that I was being discharged that afternoon. It fell on his shoulders to deal wth the whole discharge procedure.

Anything else?

A superb hospital which with a few tweaks could be an out standing hospital. If my illness wasn't terminal I would offer to come and hold workshops with nurses and junior Doctors. It would do me good as well as the years have rolled by skince I did some nurse teaching.

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your experiences. We are terribly sorry that you were unhappy with some aspects of your care and that you felt lonely and isolated. We take a great deal of pride in delivering the highest quality of care and making sure that patients are treated with dignity and respect. We will be sharing your comments with senior managers in geriatric services so that improvements can be made.

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