"Concerns over lack of basic care at Northern General"

About: Northern General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I recently had a 9 day stay on Huntsman 7 ward at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. I underwent reconstructive foot surgery. The surgical and medical care I received was first class. However my experience on the ward was not good. The ward was kept spotlessly clean and the trained staff were mostly competent and caring. Most patients on this ward were non-mobile and reliant on support staff for basic care. Call bells went unanswered for long periods even though staff could be seen and heard chatting. The mainly elderly patients were left unattended except when drugs were given out or when their call was answered. I had to constantly call for help for an old lady with dementia and broken hip when she climbed out of bed and attempted to walk. No one came to check on her even though she must have been considered high risk. My worst experience was when two support staff insisted that I stand up to transfer to a chair while they made my bed. I told them this wasn't possible as my legs were still numb from having an epidural in place for 3 days. They insisted that I could feel my legs as the epidural had been removed the day before, (in fact it took 48 hours to regain feeling in my left leg and my right leg was in a cast). They would not listen to me and pulled me to my feet with the result that my left leg crumpled and I went down onto the floor. Unbelievably, the same thing happened on the night shift, at which point I became very distressed and was seen as a nuisance. It seems that there is nobody monitoring the standard of nursing care or setting a professional standard. I hope I never have to be admitted to hospital again.

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