"An eye opener!"
About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital Gloucestershire Royal Hospital Gloucester GL1 3NN
Posted by Margaret Woolford
I was taken to Gloucester Royal Hospital on 4th Dec 2012 after slipping on the edge of a Spa pool. At A & E I was treated fairly quickly by friendly and helpful staff. An Xray showed that I had broken my heel. It was put in a plaster up to my knee, and it was decided that I should stay in overnight for the consultants to decide whether or not I should have an operation. On the ward it was a different story. There were a total of six female patients on my ward and so few staff overnight that buzzers were left ringing for half an hour or more. Eventually a nurse would turn up and more often than not would tell us that someone would be with us shortly. One eldery lady who had been there for three weeks was sitting in a chair beside her bed and wanted to get into bed as she wanted to sleep. I and another patient persuaded her to ring her buzzer but it was ignored for a long time and when it was switched off a nurse said to her "It is only 10.30". Now 10.30 for some people may be early but for others it can be very late.
I had experienced sleepless nights when I had a previous stay in hospital so, when the nurse came round with the early evening medications I asked if it would be possible for me to have a sleeping tablet. They said they would ask but I didn't get my tablet until 11pm. I still didn't sleep despite the tablet! There was an old lady in the bed opposite me obviously suffering from dementia. She kept calling out and trying to get out of her bed and was very unsteady on her feet. Had my daughter-in-law not been there to steady her she would have fallen. Later on her bed was lowered nearer to the floor so that if she fell out she would fall onto a blanket and would be less likely to hurt herself. She spent a great deal of that night on the blanket on the floor. I saw only two nurses that night, one of those was called in late and had a bit of an attitude, they said they didn't know our ward and was most unhelpful, but the other was lovely although obviously stressed. The following morning there were at least six nurses/auxiliaries in our ward at first and they were shocked that some of us had no water, some no jug and some no glass, I was told that the doctors had decided that they didn't think an operation would be necessary so I had an appontment with the plaster unit at 2pm. I rang my son and told him the news and he arranged to leave work early and come with his wife to fetch me. I waited all afternoon and made enquiries when I managed to speak to a nurse but I wasn't collected until 4.30pm. I was told they had been waiting for me since 2pm and had been unable to contact anyone on the ward. It was after 6pm when I finally left the hospital but I was so pleased that I didn't have to stay there another night. I felt so sorry for the other ladies who were still in the ward There was very little care shown them, no-one to check whether they had eaten anything or drunk any. water. They were left for hours without anyone checking on them.