"The staff lottery"

About: Royal United Hospital

My 79 year old mother was taken into the hospital for a procedure. She had a terrible experience where the nursing staff were so patronising by calling her "dear" and spoke to her as if she was senile. No explanation by the consultant or other staff was given as to the procedure nor were any questions asked of health problems my mother had. Subsequently, when the procedure was finished she was left cold on a bed without a blanket having not been given any pain killers for approximately 1.5 hours before we were allowed to see her. On asking the nurse what pain relief she had been given, the nurse said that her obs showed she wasn't in pain even though mum was obviously in pain and had asked for some. The whole experience caused my mother such distress and loss of faith in the hospital staff that she wanted to be discharged immediately and this was granted on the understanding that my sister was a nurse and could look after at home. Mum had to return for the same procedure a couple of months later and there was a different team undertaking the procedure who were excellent and restored her faith in the hospital. They introduced themselves, informed her of the intricacies of the procedure and didn't treat her as if she was a "piece of meat"! It just shows that if staff communicate with patients and do not patronise them, the patient experience improves ten fold and they have faith in the team treating them. Let's hope that the next time she has to repeat the procedure, she has the second team and not the first.

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Response from Royal United Hospital

We are sorry to hear that your mother’s visits for procedures here at the RUH were such a contrast in approach by the staff on the two occasions she was with us. We would like to thank you for your comments and in order to help us improve the service, we’d be grateful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01225 825656 or via email at ruh-tr.PatientAdviceandLiaisonService@nhs.net so that we can look into this further.

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