"Appalling, dismissive, uncaring."

About: William Harvey Hospital

What I liked

Initial time to be seen in A&E was good having arrived with chest pains and breathlessness, spasms in ribs etc.. Nurses generally very kind and caring in Minor Injuries section. A nurse who saw me straight away was absolutely lovely to me and clearly in the right job. There was sadly one nurse in Minor Injuries making quite a fuss to me about being made to work Jan 1st and saying how busy it had been as there had been a lot of people in who had been doing "stupid things", and when someone else came into the ward for treatment, they spoke another staff member in green on the quiet (right in front of me) asking them to delay moving this person into their section as they were due to leave their shift in 10 mins, and they agreed as they were nodding okay. Not sure you can call this the caring attitude you would expect a nurse to have.

I was then moved into the A&E general ward section and it went very much downhill from there. My experience below meant I ended up leaving the hospital untreated to come home, sitting up the rest of the night in pain until my surgery opened at 8.30am and I could get seen urgently by my GP who was much more caring and concerned and organised for tests to be done urgently.

What could be improved

Moved into A&E ward section after tests as told I need to be observed (fast heartbeat) and doctor needs to examine me. Taken in there around 10.30pm roughly. Ward was busy to start with but did not see anyone for ages. Partner eventually asked near to 1am (so I think we had been pretty patient) when we would be seen as people around us were all going and ward emptying, told would be soon, when pressed told within an hour. 2.30am nothing. Hardly any staff on ward (more security guards than nursing staff it seemed), except one young doctor treating a lady next to us with a disclocated hip by saying to her he had to ring their senior doctor for guidance and was relaying her answers to someone on the phone to make decisions as noone available. Eventually, my partner pointed out to staff I was still in a lot of pain, hardly able to mobilise, given nothing to take, nurse came and gave me paracetamol. Explained to them that our son is at home on his own and just a teenager so as it is 2.30am will we be kept much longer. They said again next on list so we said we would have to leave and go home and try and cope through night until we can see GP. They explained I should stay if I can pointing out risks to me if I left and said I would be next. 3.30am nothing. No acknowledgement, no-one looking in on us, ward almost empty now. Drunk man opposite who was fit and mobile enough to keep going outside for a "fag" was seen pretty quickly. I was unable to get from bed to chair without extreme pain, Partner went to talk to someone again who tersely directed him to another person who said the nurse had gone. We asked why we still hadn't seen anyone and told someone on their way. 4.35am still nothing...no staff arrived at all. Eventually we left the hospital as had no choice cos of our son and felt pretty much that noone really cared at all. We realised that in just a couple of hours we could actually get to our surgery quicker than waitt. It was an awful experience

Anything else?

The hospital environment is concerning as it is so dirty. The cubicle I was in in Minor Injuries had small blood spatters on wall next to me along with what my younger son would call "bogies" smeared around! In the A&E ward, there was a large very visible blood spatter right across the curtain divider (I was in cubicle 8). During my time in there, I hobbled to ladies toilet which was disgusting. There was faeces spattered all around the toilet bowl and someone had wet over the black plastic seat, possibly trying to use the toilet whilst standing up as it was too dirty to sit on. Not to get too personal, I remained standing myself as painful as it was. With Norovirus notices all over the hospital, it was laughable that the hospital should be so filthy. William Harvey has been my local hospital for 12 years + and I have never seen it in such a state nor been treated so badly as I have on my last two visits (August 2012 and this visit). It really saddens me and something is going very wrong. I really have very little confidence in this hospital at all and it is a shame as I bet you have some fantastic staff in there who want things to improve too, at least that is what I have had said to me by staff in general.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience and I am sorry that it was not a positive one. I would be very happy to meet with you to understand your experience and to look at ways in which we can improve.

The staff in the A&E department have worked very hard over the festive period and have seen many more patients than was anticipated over that time. January is always a busy time for us and we have recruited additional staff. We know that there is more to do to improve the flow of patients through the department so that all patients are cared for in a timely way.

I also note your concerns about the cleanliness of the cubicles and I will feed this back to our cleaning service provider. Thank you again for your feedback. I hope you continue to feel better.

If you would like to meet with me, please contact me by email on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net

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Response from William Harvey Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and we are so sorry to hear of your experience, and dissappointed that this has affected your confidence with regard to the hospital. As an organisation all feedback is reviewed and reported into the organisation to enable service improvement as a direct result of feedback from patients. Your feedback has been logged and reported to the manager of the unit. If you would like to discuss your experience please contact the Patient Experience Team who will help and advise you. The Patient Experience Team contact details on available on our website and you can also email us at ekh-tr.patientexperienceteam@nhs.net.

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