"I started in bedlam, progressed to chaos and ended..."

About: Kettering General Hospital

What I liked

I broke my head of femur on 23 August and was finally discharged on 31 August. After being on Barnwell C initially (a very stressful environment), I was moved to Ashton Ward for five days, and then finally moved to the Cranford Suite. I found the staff of the Cranford Suite absolutely fantastic - welcoming, careful in their treatment of myself and a younger woman who was moved there with me (both of us with broken bones). They all worked as a team and made our stay on their ward as comfortable as it could possibly be. Special mention for a student nurse who looked after me, helping me to have my first shower and definitely aiding my recovery in all aspects - she was a delight. The support staff were all brilliant too - cheerful and hardworking.

What could be improved

The move from Ashton Ward to the Cranford Suite was awful. The nurse in charge told us we would be moved later (she they not specify the time) sometime mid-afternoon, but obviously failed to inform their staff. After visting had finished, a single porter arrived, and chaos ensued. A young nurse tried to pack up the belongings of the other lady moving with me (having been told five minutes before the porter arrived that we were moving). She was very stressed because this was all happening during handover, and no other help seemed available. I was unable to pack my own things (having been told I needed a vascular scan to check I did not have a thrombosis), and finally rang my buzzer to ask for help. Another young nurse (who had also worked twelve hours) appeared and very reluctantly assisted. It seemed to me that absolutely no team spirit existed on Ashton Ward (on that day at least), and I asked the porter who I should complain to as it was ridiculous to expect two immobile women to pack their own stuff in a short space of time so that staff due to finish their shifts were not inconvenienced. I do not often complain, but I found myself furious with our treatment. I found myself instructing the nurses as to how we could possibly carry all the belongings (packing them on to the bed I was eventually moved in) and also found myself complaining to any nurse I passed until we left Ashton Ward, that it could have been handled so much better. I do not know the name of the senior nurse in charge on Ashton Ward that day, but I found them sullen and obviously unable to lead by example or inspiration. As I said above, our arrival on the Cranford Suite was so different, thank goodness!

Anything else?

Moving two patients during handover is not ideal, especially patients unable to help pack their own belongings. Both myself and the other lady are normally fit and healthy and were supremely frustrated that we could not help smooth our move. I am sure timing is always difficult in these matters, but a lot of grief all round could have been saved if the senior nurse had communicated the likelihood of our imminent move to the more junior nurses, who could have suggested our visitors help us pack our bags in preparation. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I know - my only regret is that we left Ashton Ward in such bad moods!

Story from NHS Choices

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