About: Heartlands Hospital Heartlands Hospital Birmingham B9 5SS
I have never had a good experience with this hospital.I have been to a number of hospitals and this rates as bad as Lewisham hospital in London. If I was dying I would beg the ambulance driver to take me to a real hospital like Solihull or QE. My mother was in for an operation (and she is still in there). The hospital know she cant speak english so they wait for the doctor to come and then explain they need a translator. Apparently I was not allowed to translate. Afterwards, they said they would explain to my mother the procedure the following day because it would take that long to get a translator. Is it just me, but is it not (un)common sense to get the translator first before the doctor is there if you will not allow family to translate? Is a bit of foresight not appropriate? Then as my mother went into surgery, I asked the (presumably theatre) nurse why she had not considered the drip attached to my mother? She was going to pull the bed so the drip would drag from my mothers arm. When I pointed this out she had a wobbly and said I was distracting her! How? I was at the foot of the bed translating for my mother, how is that a distraction? Furthermore, if you cannot cope with this you have no business being a nurse. Then I asked the ward staff if my mother could have a visitor with her permanently to translate as she is a nervous person. This was refused saying it would distract the nurses. If a nurse cant cope with a patient sitting with a patient they really are not the kind of people capable of being good nurses. On escalating the request in writing I was allowed to stay with my mother overnight. In the night it was noted that the ward is terribly understaffed. 3 patients tried to attract a nurse for an hour. Eventually one tried to get out of bed and the nurse asked me to stop her and keep an eye on the second patient because she was dealing with the third. These patients are elderly and recovering from major surgery. Whilst I am happy to do this I note 2 observations: 1) the ward is understaffed 2) if staffing is a problem, shouldn't the hospital encourage relatives to take more care of their relatives in hospital. I am sure there would be an army of relatives and good Samaritans who would like to assist. Provided they are doing no more than keeping an eye on patients I dont see the problem with this. Of course, this would be an admission the hospital is failing in its obligations. I dont believe for a minute that my experience is unusual are it is consistently poor at this hospital. I cant say what I'd like to happen to the senior management as this review will not get published then.