"In Patient Experience"

About: Weston General Hospital

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I was admitted for investigations having gone to A & E with breathlessness and a tight chest one saturday evening. I was seen almost immediately, had ECG, blood tests, hooked up to monitors and sent for chest x-ray and soon given aspirin and some blood thinning tablets which relieved the chest problem quite quickly. I was in for 6 nights and during that time had an Echocardiogram which was fine. On Thursday I was ambulanced to BRI for Angiogram where they found a 95% blockage in my right coronary artery and a stent was inserted before I was ambulanced back to Weston for my last night there. The nurses were fantastic, and I could not fault my care from the first minute I walked into the building. However, I feel I ought to mention the bad points as well as the good. The main meals were atrocious, like the worst frozen ready meals you could buy. Also, some of the night shift nurses did not appear to have any consideration for the fact you were trying to sleep and as my bed was nearest their station I could hear them all night chatting or calling out to each other. Only one shift on the six nights seemed to be considerate and keep their voices down. I was also in a ward where the average age was 90. I am 57 and it was quite depressing. The lady next to me threw up all the first night, in between coughing bouts, and every other night coughed and hawked up stuff off her chest all night, even having the odd occasion when the nurses had to use suction to clear her chest. This is not only horrible to lay awake and listen to, but when it goes on night after night you end up exhausted and stressed from lack of sleep. I eventually asked for a sleeping tablet but even that did not shut it out. I did nothing but sleep for 2 days when I came out. I was exhausted. My daughter asked if there was a private room we could pay for so I could get some sleep at nights, but the only one was occupied by a an old lady who screamed and swore day and night, and threw things at the nurses. I also came out with a viral infection/cold, which was hardly surprising as one nurse was openly complaining one day that she had a sore throat. Surely she should not have been on a heart ward, or should have worn a mask. To summarise, diagnosis, treatment and staff brilliant, but food awful, nights noisy and people who are coughing their boots up all night should be in a room on their own to allow others some chance of sleep. More single rooms, even if you have to pay something for them, would be nice. My nurses were absolutely great.

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