"Lack of empathy on Great Tey ward"

About: Colchester General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Recently was admitted to Great Tey ward for a hip replacement. Consultants, theatre staff, porters and ancilliary staff were all friendly and polite.

I had contacted the hospital via PALS before admission to request a side room during my stay as I had recently lost my mother and was feeling very raw still. I was pleased to find that this was all arranged for me.

The nursing staff only came in to see me to do my obs, otherwise I was ignored. On the second evening I was feeling very emotional and was in tears. The nurses decided I needed a procedure, which upset me more, but no-one took the time to explain exactly why I needed it and they just got on with it. No-one took the time to comfort me or talk to me (night staff were on at this time).

The side room was very hot and I struggled to get out of bed to open the window, the nursing staff complained it was cold every time they entered and insisted on closing the window, my discomfort irrelevant.

The third night, I had pain in my back and called for a nurse to help me get comfortable. Night staff came in, showed me how to alter the position of the bed and then left.

To summarise, I was very uncomfortable at night and made to feel a nuisance if I rang the bell, and largely ignored by the day staff in my side room. I felt that, as a younger patient on the ward, I was expected to be more independent despite the fact that I too had had major surgery.

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Response from Paul Searle, Head of Communications, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. Please contact me, so we can try to put things right for the future.


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