"Forgotten and frustrated, and yelled at by a nurse..."

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

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I was in the Guy Perkins Ward for an appendisectomy at the end of February, and was absolutely horrified by the poor treatment I had. I have no family in London except my boyfriend and friends, and felt sad and alone - made much worse by my treatment. First off, I was told I could have painkillers when needed as I was in excruciating pain, and then was made to feel like an addict when I asked for another dose after a few hours. When I was finally about to go into surgery, the porter disappeared for half an hour (and the nurse had to attempt to track him down) and then was rude and kept knocking my bed into corners and doors on the way to the theatre.

Following surgery, I had to wait for a huge amount of time before I had any idea of how things had gone, and was frightened as I had no idea about what was normal and what to expect (i.e. the horrible shoulder and chest pain!). It felt like pulling teeth to get anyone to tell me anything.

I had adverse reactions to the antibiotics they gave me, which was to be expected, but my nurse one day would not clear out the bowls I had gotten sick into, even when I asked. When my boyfriend came during visiting hours, he had to take the bowls out to the nurses' station to ask what to do with them, because I was constantly retching and having vomit nearby wasn't exactly helping! My nurse that day was incredibly rude and made me feel awful for asking when the doctor would come to see me, and would just leave the room without responding when I asked questions. The doctor 'forgot' to come see me, and didn't show up until 5pm to say that my antibiotics were supposed to have been stopped a day before. My boyfriend had called for an update on me as my phone didn't have any signal in my room (my first nurse gave him the phone number for that exact purpose), and then the nurse marched into my room to berate me for 'wasting her time' when she was waiting for 'more important calls' and said that it was my fault she hadn't taken her lunch break yet. I previously worked in a hospital so I completely understand how overworked nurses can be, but I would never be so rude as to take it out on a patient.

My room was stiflingly hot (over 28 degrees) which didn't help how sick I felt, and even my visitors found it incredibly uncomfortable.

I did have a few good nurses - my night nurse was lovely and friendly. The food services staff were fantastic and friendly, and very accommodating for my coeliac disease. The negatives of my visit far outweighed the positives. I don't think I was being a difficult patient, but felt as though I was resented and forgotten. I spent most of my time in hospital alone and in a lot of pain, and incredibly sad.

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Response from St Thomas' Hospital

We are very sorry that you have been dissatisfied with the treatment and care you have recieved on the ward. We are taking this matter very seriously and will commence a full investigation. If you have any further concerns please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at pals@gstt.nhs.uk / 020 7188 8801 so that we can discuss your concerns.

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