"You couldn't have written this as a script"

About: Kingston Hospital

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I have just spent 3 days in the Kingston SAE; The facilities were clean and everything you would want it to be - the staff who do the cleaning etc were diligent and hard working. The doctors and medical students were supberb.communicative and caring.


But the shining stars are the nursing staff. They work extremely hard all the time in a very challenging environment. However 1 hour at the end of a manically busy day in just the small area of 1 Bay demonstrates the quality of the staff.

1 A tidal wave of clean water followed an elderly patient out of the bay toilet and covers a quarter of the bay floor. Ward staff nurse contains it with towels etc

2 At the same time the food trolley arrives in its usual place outside the flooded bay. The staff leap into action distributing the food

3. A maintenance person with a large cleaning trolley arrives, but not to deal with the flood for some other incident on the ward . The food distribution operation has to temporarily stop and all staff, trollies etc move over to get the maintenence trolley through. This disrupts the flow of the food distribution and there is a bit of a muddle.

4. At this point a patient, I presume to be in the severe stages of dementia, arrived. When asked to go back to his room he aggressively squared up to one of the male nurses. When asked a 2nd time he started to throw pebbles the size of eggs about in a crowded corridor (the pebbles were the dressing on the top of the pot plants- dementia and ingenuity seem to go hand in hand) .

At this point the staff tried to restrain him and he dashed behind the nurses station and took the ward phoine hostage. The staff managed to contain him until security arrived who escorted him back to his room but not without difficulty .

Order was restored, the staff just picked up their routine and carried on as if none of this had happened .

In that day this patient had violently assaulted 3 of the 5 staff,( punches, scratches etc), everytime they went near him. He cut the staff nurse when she went to disarm him of a pair of scissors - as a result she was still on the ward at 10pm finishing her reports making up the time she had spent in A&E.

Part of me found the events hilarious, the biggest part of me is shocked that hospital staff have to work in such circumstances. However I am wonderstruck at the skill and professionalism of the staff. Not for a nano second did the compassion of the staff waver for the dementia patient..

Every organisation can be improved and the NHS is no exception. The press have highlighted some serious failures in some hospitals and the politians are on the band wagon. setting negative expectations in the population

Transparency, an HMG rallying call, should work both ways and the work done at Kingston and other such centres of excellence need to be made clear to the population and not just taken for granted.

The staff of Kingston SAE are fabulous - in the proper sense of the word

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Response from Kingston Hospital

Thank you so much for your comment, which we have passed on to the team. Hope you are feeling much better now.

Kind regards,

Kingston Hospital

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