"Attitude towards visitors"

About: Mater Infirmorum Hospital / General Surgery

(as a relative),

To be honest, I am shocked and disgusted at the treatment I have had to endure at this hospital. We all know they have their problems, but I did not realise that these problems extended to the attitiude of the staff to visitors and supporters of their patients.

My partner has had to undergo a 4 hour operation to remove part of his bowel and infection caused by a perforated duodenum, all of which I feel was caused in part by the misdiagnosis of at least 3 doctors and the inability to perform certain scans at certain times of the week, which nearly cost him his life. But as long as he makes a full recovery I will not be taking that matter any further.

The point that has shocked me is the staff's attitude to my frequent presence. I have been told by one ward sister that my presence was 'not needed' because I wanted to arrange to come 15 minutes earlier than the usual visiting hours as my partner was on the road to recovery and when I mentioned his ongoing agony she flippantly remarked that he 'couldn't possibly be in pain'. Also, I was told that if visiting hours did not suit me then I should have to arrange for someone else to visit and when suggesting that other patients on the same ward were allowed family to stay beyond the recommended times I was told that I 'should only be concerned with myself and it was none of my business'. I was extremely concerned that staff had no empathy, concern for fairness or flexibility with someone who has done the utmost to ensure her relative has been adequately cared for as much as I can possibly do without their assistance.

On the occasion I asked for assistance when a morphine machine began bleeping and caused other patients to complain about the noise there was no one to work the machine, then when I asked to go to another ward to find someone specially qualified to work it, the nurses finished off their conversation before casually telling me 'someone will be down in a minute'. I find this kind of attitude disgusting from individuals who are directly responsible for very ill patients. I find this unacceptable.

Furthermore, when asking staff to fetch water and ice I was told 'it would be handier if I could just get it myself' and therefore when I was not there his requests for water were ignored and also he was told the ice machine had broken so as not to comply with his request. I checked and it had never broke down or been empty.

The majority of the nursing staff I met maintained an uncaring attitude. At one point, when I asked if my partner could remove his socks that prevent DVT, a staff nurse informed me that 'he can do what likes but if he gets a clot then its nothing to do with me', which I felt was highly insensitive and frankly unprofessional.

These are only a few examples that come to mind when I have gasped in horror at the state of hospitals and their staff today. Nurses, if you do not care about patient welfare...change your profession!

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