HOSPITAL CARE

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Lazydaisy,

So sorry to hear that. So hard for you and so cruel. You said you were a nurse - how long ago and was that in a hospital setting? Have you always seen poor care from colleagues or more now than before?

Dorothy,

That's appalling. Just confirms that nurses (although not all) regard you as a nuisance if you can't do things for yourself.

How they can live with themselves afterwards, I don't know. I have to say (and this will sound drastic) but I would think twice about calling 999 if my mum needed urgent care. You're expected to carry on caring in a hospital, do the job of the nurse (with no pay) on the ward and do everything you can to protect your loved ones. How ridiculous is this?
It seems to be policy now not to give a tray after a death, as someone else asked me about this, as she had been surprised when she and her mother were not offered a cuppa when her father died suddenly.
Where would I make a comment about this,something that is such a little task for a nurse, but means so much to a family
LazyD it was the same in jan 2004 when at my childrens request I was at the hospital when their dad's respirator was turned off, my ex in laws, my two eldest children and myself were there and we were just inhumanely shepherded into a small dark dingy room and left to our own devices. We were a good half hour drive away from home, it was horrible.
A close friend of mine has just finished a five week stint as a temp cleaner at a local hospital. Here are a couple of things that happened while she was there. Two patients on the ward were infected with MRSA My mate cut her knee and the rules state open wounds must be covered.Before cleaning these rooms she asked for a plaster to cover it.Supervisor said ok i will get you one then went off up the corridor and spent ages chatting to someone else. Later she asked my friend if she had cleaned these two rooms yet. My friend said no and explained she was still waiting on the plaster. Supervisors reaction was "oh for Gods sake" Incidentally this was the same supervisor who left MRSA infected garments in a trolley in the corridor and then buggered off home early. Image
Hey Lambchop

This is an old posting of mine, but it hylights an onother aspect of how hospitals treat the people we care for! (appoligies to other members of the Forun that have read this before)

Who cares when the carer needs care?
A woeful tail of how the NHS ignores the rights and needs of a person reliant on their carer, when that carer needs medical help and is hospitalized.

June 2008, I had severe abdominal pain as the result of an accident in the garden involving a sun parasol. I also have an underlying abdominal condition, which may or may not need to be treated in time, but seems to blind the medics to any other reason for tummy problems.

After a day during which the pain got progressively worse, I asked my wife to call the doctor. The doctor called and arranged for me to be taken straight to the ward of our main NHS hospital as an emergency admission and an ambulance was called.

My wife can’t use her car without someone putting her wheelchair in or taking it out of the boot. On this occasion one of our very good friends put the wheelchair in her car and drove my wife to the hospital (she couldn’t travel in the ambulance with me), got the wheelchair out and pushed her to the ward and said that if she phoned when she wanted to come home, adding at any time through the night, she would come and pick her up.

My wife elected to stay by my bedside all night, because I was so poorly. She was made to feel that she had no right to be there at all. The nursing staffs were openly hostile to her. She was not even offered a cup of tea when the trolley came around - luckily she had brought a bottle of water with her to take her prescribed painkillers. She spent the entire night and all the next day (a total of 24 hours) in her wheelchair and no-one even enquired if she was alright or needed any help.

If that wasn’t bad enough, some time through the night I was taken to have a scan and my wife asked if she could come with me. She got a reluctant yes but only if she could wheel herself. This hospital has a modern part and a very old warren-like part - we were in the old part. A porter came eventually to wheel me to the x-ray dept for my scan, off we set the porter, me, and a nurse pushing another patient and, following as best as she could, my wife wheeling herself up and down the long and winding corridors. Despite many requests for help or to slow down this was met with stern refusals on the ground of the need to be quick so the nurse could get back to the ward, and the old favorite Health and Safety.

At one stage I said that I would push her but they said that would not be allowed. My wife told them that in her opinion she was being discriminated against because she is disabled. A charge they denied quoting the same excuses, adding that they had told her it was a long way.

After the scan the journey back to the ward was not as bad and the need for speed was not there, it was just a porter, me, and my wife. This porter was very helpful and actually pushed both wheelchairs up the steepest parts and would allow some stops so that my wife could catch her breath. This was the only assistance my wife received during the entire 24 hour period.

Whilst all this was going on, it has to be remembered that my wife was extremely distressed about my condition plus the added problem of getting around the hospital and being treated by the nursing staff like a pariah.

I was in hospital for four days in all and the experience has left us both very worried about what will happen if I become unwell and have to go into hospital again.

Surely it is the right of any spouse to accompany their wife/husband to treatment or examinations whilst at or in hospital. I believe that hospitals should have systems in place to help people in this sort of situation, even if they had to make a small charge to hire a porter.

My wife now has a powered wheelchair which is loaded into the back of our car using a hoist and whilst this would assist her moving around the hospital, she has no way of getting the wheelchair in or out of the car on her own. It is such a complicated procedure that someone would need to be shown several times how to do this without damage to themselves, the chair or the car.

Hi Jimbo,

I'm really sorry for the unjustified poor care you both received. Can I ask, did you lodge a complaint? I know this can be a very difficult thing to do.

We have to try and do our best to complain if we can cause nothing will change if we don't - all the Trusts will say is that the majority of people are satisfied with the service received. I know complaints don't always get dealt with well either - I don't have all the answers unfortunately.

I was fruitlessly trying to find some way to win some vast sums of money so that I can put mum in a private hospital if she needs hospital care. Pipedreams.

I've written to the Government, the Patients Association, Age UK to find out what they plan to do about nursing and hospital standards. I'm also planning on writing to my local paper.

Can all of you, if you haven't already done so, tell me which hospitals you experienced your poor care?
Dear Lambchop

Complaining can be a complete waste of time - especially regarding health - as they all gang up to cover each others backs. I went through the complaints process a few times when my son was under the "care" of the children's hospital and had appalling treatment. (He had a spinal fusion operation at the age of 13 and I could write a book about the dreadful care (or rather lack of) which he received.

Eun
Lambchop I was unwell for several weeks after I came out of hospital, I know, we should have made a formal complaint (or things won't change) but to tell you the truth, I wasn't up to it and we'd had enough of the blooming place (Musgrove Park Hospital).


Another time, my wife was in the Royal Orthopedic Hospital at Stanmore, for 'rehab' and was told by a staff nurse that patients like her were a nuisance, because they weren't really ill! I brought her home that afternoon.

Unless we're carried in we don't do hospitals any more!
Thought I would add a good experience.
When my husband was in Bristol Eye Hospital, he was by himself, very scared as his sight had suddenly gone, and I could not go up because I had nobody to look after my children.(with a son who has Downs Syndrome and at that time a lot of behavioural problems, driving up with them was not an option.)
The staff were wonderful. Every time I phoned,they took time to explain what treatment they would be doing, they treated my husband wonderfully,and remembered every time to offer him an arm to get to another part of the ward,plus help at mealtimes to ensure he knew what was on his plate. Only little things, but it made his stay much less stressful for him.
(and I did write and say thank you to the staff afterwards too).
Dear Eun,

I know what you're saying and I wish I could disagree with you. You obviously did what you could to try and bring to justice the wrongs that were done to your son. It's especially bad when poor service is experienced by someone 'vulnerable'. Nothing like that should ever happen to anyone.

Jimbo, again I understand what you say and I wouldn't dream of trying to change your mind. I completely empathise with your view that you would not go to hospital voluntarily. The thing I worry about is that it's worse when we have no choice in the matter and HAVE to go to hospital.

Lazydaisy,

I'm so happy that you had a good experience. Of course, not everyone has a bad experience - we will never know the true extent of good and bad experiences unless we survey every patient in the country. But that was wonderful - thank you for relating it.

I don't know what else to do but try and improve services by campaigning. It's true that individual hospitals aren't always keen to respond to complaints and will try and cover up poor care but what else can we do? I know I'm repeating myself but If we dont try, it will be assumed that there is nothing to change.