"Stressed and uncaring staff"

About: Pinderfields General Hospital

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I went in for a laparoscopy with overnight stay on Gate 40. I arrived with my husband 1 and 1/2 hours before the op, feeling very anxious. The first greeting I was met with was a matter-of-fact secretary, too busy to give eye contact, telling me, "It's patients only in here so your husband can't stay with you." In the anxious state that I was in, this felt devastating and I immediately refused to wait alone and got upset. Suddenly, my husband was allowed to stay - and actually stayed right up until the time of the op. So why say he couldn't and cause distress? The anaesthetist came to talk to me and was lovely and reassuring, and the consultant who did the surgery, who is a fantastic, intelligent and highly-skilled man, was also very reassuring. This calm was broken, however, by a very stressed nurse with a face like thunder suddenly having a big strop about something to do with the consent form. She was openly bad-mouthing the anaesthetist and the surgeon and complaining that because they weren't doing their jobs correctly, she was left with too much to do. Not what you want to hear at a time like that! After the surgery was over, waking up in the recovery room was also not the caring environment I had expected. First of all, I was shocked to see that there was a man in the next bed. I didn't expect this and was very confused about where I was. From becoming semi-conscious at 6.30pm (there was a clock directly in front of me), it was 7.15 before I managed to get the attention of a member of staff to ask where I was and to ask for a drink as my lips were parched and stuck to my teeth. I had imagined a more caring awakening, with a few kind words and an immediate offer of a drink. Not here! I also had the not-very-nice experience of hearing two nurses talking about me near my bed: "This lady has had a laparoscopy and has ended up with six or seven port holes in her stomach!" "Wow, they must have really had a good look. Why so many?" What had happened to me? I did ask but was told they didn't know anything and I would have to speak to the consultant tomorrow.. After that I went onto the ward and found more of the same: stressed out, unsmiling, uncommunicative and even snappish nurses. I asked for an anti-nausea drug from one nurse and she said to just sit up for a minute to see if that helped and she would be back. She didn't return, but an hour later a different nurse came and without speaking started opening my cannula. I asked why and she said, "Anti-sickness - you asked for it didn't you?" I replied, "I asked an hour ago but I feel better now." She sighed and left and I had to call her back to close the cannula as she had left it open. Here, the men's ward was also connected to the women's - no door - and we frequently had men wandering around our ward before the nurses realised. Men were also allowed to use the ladies' toilets. In summary, fantastic surgeon but horrible nurses, poor care and strangely mixed sex.

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Response from Pinderfields General Hospital

We would be pleased to arrange for these concerns to be investigated if the patient would like to contact us directly with appropriate details. The email address is pals@midyorks.nhs.uk

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