"Feedback re Birchington Ward QEQM 14 - 18 June"

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

Anything else?

I had a total hysterectomy on Friday 14 June with removal of suspicious complex cyst. I was warned that with weekend coming there would be skeleton staff on duty. What! Scary when your having a major op! The staff were kind and helpful, but there were not enough staff on duty to help people to become mobile again (my husband did this, not the nursing staff) and help people to the toilets which are far away when you're in bay1 and just had major surgery! Not enough staff to make sure you have or get washed either. I was told by somebody that the shower is dirty so I just washed myself in the hand basin next to toilet! The weekend was particularly bad for the lack of staff. Not the staff's fault....but the NHS I'm sure. The staff that were there do their best, but have little understanding of someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder/OCD, which I do. I will say that the staff were all very courteous, kind and one or two of the night nurses particularly kind and caring and am very grateful for not making me feel like a nuisance, as I am normally very independent and don't like asking for help. Well done Birchington Ward, the wonderful staff that ARE there. Important - there are not enough commodes on the ward. I requested one, one night when my cathether was out and experiening pain and told I wasn't allowed one as not enough to go round, but if I buzzed and (nurse came quickly enough I might make it) Should be commode in each bay at least! Clock in bay one hadn't been working for 3 weeks prior to my arrival! Staff a bit pedantic with visiting hours. I need my husband there when I'm feeling unwell and upset. Had a lot of tears due to abdominal pain. Some staff have no empathy for this, Some have and will hold your hand but most won't. One surgeon was very ubrupt about my results post op and just ignored me and was keen to discharge me before I'd even passed wind or had bowel movements which increased my stress levels. Thankfully the ward sister agree I wasn't ready! Cleanliness was good. Meals very good, Sandwiches (bread dry, bit stale) Catering staff kind. If I was a little old lady with no family to help me, I would be extremely worried being there with so few staff at times. It's only because I'm 48 and normally physically fit/strong that my husband was able to hall me round the ward corridors, having had no sleep.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing us with feedback about your stay with us, I am sorry that aspects of your care did not meet your expectations. I will feedback to the Matron responsible for Birchington ward and we will check the weekend staffing for the week you were in and subsequent weekends.

I do hope you are recovering well from your operation.

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