"Poor communication, over-worked staff and..."

About: Queen's Medical Centre

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Most of the staff are absolutely lovely, nurses in particular are due a massive pay rise for their fantastic work. But all staff just seem to be very over-worked and don’t have enough time to provide personalised care. No wonder they get demoralised and sometimes appear hassled/inattentive. Having said that, I was unhappy overall with my son’s experience at this hospital. Multiple issues, too many to list in detail, will be writing separately to the Trust. He was admitted via A&E in March 2013, with suspected appendicitis, had an appendectomy the following day, was on ward C31 then moved to ward E14. I went to the hospital for several hours every day, and very glad I did. Unless I was physically present when the doctors/nurses did their rounds so that I could ask questions /insist on information, very little was volunteered to the patient. Found out after 3 days that the appendix when removed was ‘gangrenous’ and about to rupture, which makes complications much more likely. We should have been told this immediately post-surgery to manage our expectations. He ended up being very ill in hospital for 12 days, with complications including abscesses on the abdominal wall and a pleural effusion (fluid on the lung). At each stage, I had to ask/pester for information. Several other incidents along the way. For example: Long wait for scan results; totally opposed opinions from two doctors on the need for further surgery, causing huge distress to my son; wrong identity bracelet; vomit-filled receptacle left by bedside for hours; hand sanitiser not replaced for over 24 hrs; no concern shown that he wasn’t eating, the untouched food would just be removed without comment. Food monitoring should be part of basic care, but it’s not at QMC – not really the fault of the nurses, they simply don’t have time to monitor or help patients to eat. Another awful instance (not to do with my son, but I spent a lot of time on the wards) was a frail elderly man in the next bed who was clearly very confused. At one point, he was placed on a ‘commode chair’ behind the curtains round his bed ... the poor man was left sitting on that commode far too long. Eventually I couldn’t bear his anguished cries of “Nurse! Nurse!” any longer so I went to the nurse’s station to alert someone. I was quite shocked that so little dignity was afforded him. Also disturbed that my son’s discharge notes were completely inaccurate. They stated that he was discharged after a routine appendectomy with no complications. Not true!! Absolutely none of the complications were listed, it was very obvious to me that the discharge notes had been filled in on the computer several days in advance of his actual discharge - an over-worked doctor trying to save admin time? Eventually it was put right after we questioned it, but it is clearly unacceptable for discharge notes to be written ahead of time/be so inaccurate. I feel sad to have to complain as we’re so lucky to have the NHS, but felt I had to, sorry.

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Responses

Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Please don't apologise for raising concerns about the care you observed and experienced at Nottingham University Hospitals. Patient feedback is incredibly important to us to ensure that we can continue to improve care for our patients.

I am so very sorry that your experience was not a positive one. We will investigate your concerns to understand why the care you received was unacceptable. I hope that your son has made a full recovery.

Response from Queen's Medical Centre

Please don't apologise for raising concerns about the care you observed and experienced at Nottingham University Hospitals. Patient feedback is incredibly important to us to ensure that we can continue to improve care for our patients. I am so very sorry that your experience was not a positive one. We will investigate your concerns to understand why the care you received was unacceptable. I hope that your son has made a full recovery.

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