"Shocked in parts"

Having visited the hospital numerous times, both as a patient and as a relative I have come to mainly expect the worst from this place. Hoping this time would be different I was to leave with mixed reactions. A friend was waiting to be discharged today after several days as an inpatient following severe abdominal pain post discharge after an appendectomy. Due to shortage of beds he was moved out of the ward, 3, and into the empty Day Surgery Unit along with a number of other patients. Being in pain, my friend asked for pain relief during the night but was told he couldn't have any despite being written up for some. When we arrived to pick him up, we were welcomed by the staff who were doing the best they could in the morning given the questionable suitableness of the Unit being used as a ward, and they were very accommodating and friendly. The Unit was clean and questions answered as best they could. It seemed that this would be a visit that I would be impressed by the hospital for once. I was soon mistaken. When the time came for the drug round my friend was given his medication by one nurse, who had been very amiable and accommodating to us waiting and playing cards. Shortly after, the second nurse came up and offered his medication again. We questioned why he was being given a second dose of regular medication within 30 minutes of the previous round. It turned out the drugs hadn't been signed for the first time, an unforgivable lapse in judgement that could have resulted in a serious incident. When it came time to eventually go home, the cannula was removed from the back of my friend's hand. He started to bleed through the dressing so I instructed him to apply pressure and elevate the hand, a basic first aid technique. We called over the HCA who removed the cannula and asked if she could re-dress the site due to the bleeding. When she had done so, without using gloves while dealing with bloody gauze, she then proceeded to tell my friend to let his arm hang down and not keep it elevated with pressure as it's not good for him. When questioned why she said that's what she thought. After explaining to her why this should be done to reduce bleeding she just laughed and walked off, putting the dirty gauze into a sharps bin. I want to know why a HCA who should be trained in how to remove cannulas and what to do if the wound bleeds did not do such simple things and had to have it explained to her. If she hasn't been trained then she should not be doing it. It seemed to be that she has either had the incorrect training or no training at all with this procedure, minor though it may be. It saddens me to say that I am not shocked that this has occurred at Wexham Park and has further lowered my opinion of the hospital. This should not have happened especially with the amount of scrutiny the NHS is under. The fact that such a major mistake has occurred with medication and that simple skills are not taught has left me shocked.

Story from NHS Choices

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