"Treatment for broken ankle made worse my one nurse's attitude"

About: St Thomas' Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Since learning of your website I thought it would be good for me to share my experience of in-patient (non) care at Guys and St Thomas's Hospital in South London. I was admitted to this hospital via A&E when I broke my ankle.

I was taken up to The Nightingale Ward, where I was initially put in a room on my own and then after about ten hours told abruptly by the nurse that I shouldn't get comfortable as I had to move - this rude attitude was indicative of the whole ward. The lack of management and care on this ward was unbelievable. The constant bickering between the nurses in front of the patients was bad enough but the abrupt manner with which they greeted any patient request was even worse. There was no 'care' at all that I could see.

In fact, it seemed to me that they wanted to punish patients, not care for them. For instance, they placed everything out of my reach, including a bowl and told me 'wash yourself' and walked away. Unfortunately, due to my broken ankle, which I was awaiting an operation on, I could not move... so stayed unwashed.

The lady opposite me had come in because her cataract operation had led to an eye infection. She needed antibiotic drops every hour on the hour, and during the daytime the nurse administered them - however the nurse who worked nights did not turn up and therefore she had to administer her own drops throughout the night!

This very same nurse (who I saw asleep across a desk when I was first admitted) was given the task of taking me down to the operating theatre. After waiting almost 24 hours for my operation with nil by mouth I was quite dizzy. When they lifted me off the bed I realised I needed to go to the toilet, I told the nurse this and she told me to tell them when I got down into the pre-op room. Therefore, I told the anaesthetist that I needed to go to the toilet - he asked me why I had not done this before I came down - I answered because the nurse told me to ask here! This caused a big argument in front of me, harsh words were exchanged between him and the nurse and then I was given a bed pan. My bladder was very full and so was the bed pan once I relieved myself. The nurse pulled it away from me and left it precariously at the tip end of my bed, as she bent to get something she knocked the bed pan and it's contents went everywhere splashing across the floor and up the fridge - everywhere. The anaesthetists' face peering through the theatre door was furious. The nurse blaspheming started to mop up the 'pee' with paper towels - no disinfectant, no nothing. Not only that but she had also forgot to bring down my x-rays!

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