"Long wait for pain relief"

About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / Trauma and Orthopaedics

(as the patient),

The appalling part of the experience: -

I was an in-patient at NNUH for 11 days having spinal surgery and upon transfer from from another local hospital (~20 miles away) had to wait 9 hours for pain medication from around 5pm to 2am since NNUH could not locate a doctor to authorise the release of the drugs even though NNUH had my transfer documentation indicating the pain medication I was taking. I know it was a 9 hour wait as there was a clock facing my bed and I was counting every hour.

It sounds unbelievable that firstly, why would authority be needed to dispense drugs to a patient who has just transferred from another hospital and secondly, why could a doctor not be located in a hospital (? ! ) and thirdly, why aren't senior nurses authorised to dispense medication?

Most of the nursing staff were lovely but some of the younger ones some of whom were temp staff did not seem to be trained. Response times to buzzer calls were at least 20-30 mins on average and in a spinal unit, I didn't meet one member of the nursing staff during my time who was trained to move patients. Clearly, being trained to move patients having spinal surgery would be fairly essential. One of the young trainee nurses actually said to me "Do you not have family members who could come and help move you?"

The best part of the experience were the Ward Sisters. They just gave off an air of professionality - they knew their jobs and were kind and helpful. In addition, the physio and occupational therapy staff were excellent as were the consultants. I was also really impressed with the anaesthetists.

Resourcing of nursing staff was clearly a major problem in the Ward, noticeable by the time it took for buzzers to be answered.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to hear it took so long for your pain relief to be given and that staff were slow to respond to the call bell. Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback and we have passed your comment to the Director of Nursing.

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story