"Firth 4 ward stay after Colorectal surgery."
About: Northern General Hospital Northern General Hospital Sheffield S5 7AU
Posted by JW
Having received exemplary care from the surgical team who carried out my bowel cancer surgery, I wanted to add my compliments for the staff on Firth 4 where I received 7 days after care! The staff were outstanding! I felt like an individual and not just another patient! I had a few 'down days' following my surgery and the support staff were so lovely and came to check up on me when they came back on shift next day! One member of the support staff was especially outstanding in her attitude to all the patients. A true asset to the NHS! The ward was kept clean and well maintained. Having given high praise to most staff, there was just one member of the support team who wasn't quite as outstanding in her attitude and approach. My partner felt that I should have broached my findings at the time of my stay. However, I didn't feel physically or mentally able to do so at the time. I felt that she dealt with some of the older patients in a way that left me feeling uncomfortable . . . bullying is maybe too strong a word, but 'encouraging or cajoling' are too mild. I also witnessed an interaction between her and one of the lovely night nurses. A petty interaction that lead me to think there were 'team' issues. Two personal events I encountered included a 'reprimand' for dropping my cough cushion on the floor "these don't go on the floor!" (maybe her sense of humour?) but the fact I hadn't noticed it had fallen off the bed and my temporary immobility following surgery, her attitude made me feel like a naughty child! A bigger issue was around my pain relief. I buzzed for help and after what seemed a while, she came to the bed and said "What do you want?" I asked for pain relief and she went to find the nursing staff. I checked my phone for the time and after 15 minutes, still no one came. I buzzed again and a male nurse came. I explained that I had asked for help some 15 minutes earlier. He returned to say my pain relief was being 'bagged up' (I was no longer on a drip and was taking oral pain relief so this was a surprise!) after a further 15 minutes, I noticed a nurse putting up a drip bag for another patient. Thankfully, the nurse then came to check my catheter and noticed I was awake and when I explained about my pain, she promptly returned with painkillers! This was now 50 minutes after my initial call for help and my pain had spiralled! I understand that staff are busy and I tried to be a 'good' patient, but this tarnished my view of an otherwise exemplary stay on Firth 4! A huge Thank You to everyone who worked so hard to make my stay a pleasant one!