"Mixed experience at Surgery Centre"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

I had a total hip replacement - the anaesthetic, surgery and post-recovery all went very well and I was happy with my treatment, which was professional and human. However when i got to the ward the experience was very mixed. I received good monitoring for low blood pressure but some of the day to day care was lacking. I do not want this to reflect on the nursing staff, most of whom were lovely and doing their best with scarce resources and I do not want to undermine them. But I think if you are busy it's easy to let some of the more caring aspects go. Cleanliness. I was given a wheelchair-type commode over the toilet. This did not fit and so urine was going on the floor. I mentioned this several times but it was not until the next day the cleaner came to wash it.Dignity and respect. Most of the staff gave me the impression that because i am relatively young and fit I should be able to do everything for myself immediatey. I was not helped onto the bedpan and consequently urinated down my leg. By the time the staff came to remove the bedpan i had an ammonia burn which is still there although healing. I was not offered tissues to wipe. The one who did offer them talked to me as if I was dirty for needing them. So the next day I determined to get up and use the toilet. Unfortunately due to aneasthetic and slowness on the crutches I wet myself several times. At one point this was when food was being delivered. I told one of the staff that I had had an accident and she said "Just let us know if you need a hand" and went, leaving me to try to change and my food to get cold! It was also expected that I would wash and dress myself immediately and apart from bringing in a chair and telling me which way round to put my knickers on i was given no help. Between not being sure how i could move without doing any damage and being sore and my limbs not feeling up to their usual strength, it took me about 30 minutes to work out how to get dressed - this in a toilet that still had urine on the floor. There also seemed to be a bit of a culture of blame the patient "Haven't you got dressed yet?" etc. I managed but it worries me that someone frailer would have the same experience. Discharge. I was taken to the discharge lounge where i was encouraged to lean forward from the wheelchair and grasp the chair arms to get myself out (against the guidelines). When I asked for a raised toilet seat they did fetch one but said "there are rails there so you shouldn't need this"! On the day of my discharge I found patient information in a blue file at the bottom of my bed which should have been on the wall - most people don't read nurses files. I was told that the staples would be removed in 11 days. When I went to the GPs there were no staples! I was given no phone number to follow up in case of concerns, or information about what to expect and when to worry. There was no form to report these concerns at the time or any scope for suggestions for improvement.

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Responses

Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

We're so sorry to hear that you've had a disappointing experience at the hospital. We take patient feedback very seriously so will make sure your concerns are passed along to the relevant teams. If you would like us to look into this further for you, you can contact our PALS (Patient Advice Liaison Service) freephone 0800 953 0667 or email pals@ghnt.nhs.uk

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