"The effort made to make Christmas ..."

About: Leighton Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

The effort made to make Christmas day special for those staying in hospital.

What could be improved

Staffing levels seemed to be inadequate. On one night shift there were only 2 nurses covering 3 wards which contained a large proportion of people confined to their beds. On this and many other occassions people were ignored when they pressed their call buttons. I personally, and others in the ward, waited regularly from between 5 and 20 minutes for a bed pan and even when we got one we were often left perching on them for similar time periods. This was very distressing for some patients, and I found it very difficult as I was in a lot of pain from a broken hip. I personally dread having to come back into hospital for any length of time if I have to go through the same experience. When I was in hospital for a week prior to my recent stay I witnessed similar levels of care with many elderly patients not receiving the care they deserved and often being ignored.

I also think some staff should consider patients feelings during shift hand over. I was talked about as if I was stupid, some of the facts were incorrect at hand over and some of the nurses seem to think you are deaf and can't hear what they are saying! I was upset by some of the tactless comments made at hand over.

Communication overall could be improved.

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Responses

Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for your comments relating to care over Christmas.

On the Orthopaedic Unit we do aim to deliver high quality care to all our patients particularly those patients who require frequent nursing intervention. The Orthopaedic Unit is divided into 3 teams and we have an agreed staffing level in place for night duty to cross cover the 3 teams. Unfortuantely there can be occasions when due to short notice sickness absence and winter bed pressures, staffing levels could be affected. We do however work closely with the bed managers and the senior manager on call to address any staffing problems and arrange cover.

It is standard practice across the hospital to undertake patient "handover" to the next shift close by to the patient's bedside. This enables the next shift of nurses to visually assess the patient as their receive a verbal handover. We are sorry if any details were incorrect during handover. The nurse in charge would have been very happy to listen to your concerns and to take any appropriate action. We plan to share your experience with the nursing team at our next Unit meeting and to remind staff to be more mindful of the handover process.

We always encourage patients and their families to discuss their concerns with the Nursing Staff during their admission so that we can seek to resolve issues.

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