"Good care and poor care at City Hospital, Birmingham - and too long Nil by Mouth"

About: City Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I was admitted to City Hospital, Birmingham and moved between two Orthopedic wards for five days in November 2006. I was very impressed with the level of care and expertise shown by my aneasetist and the surgeon. I was also impressed with some of the nursing staff, particularly one sister who worked at night. She was knowledgeable, competent and caring. However there were some other sisters with whom I was not impressed. They lacked a caring manner, were unable to use their initiative and two neglected their duty of care. I was left for 20 hours nil by mouth and without anyone checking on me. I eventually managed to point out to the second sister of the day that I was unwell with dehydration after 18 hours but nothing was done for another hour and a half, at which point, in a distressed state I asked again for help.

A student nurse enquired about my case and I was then told I would not be operarted on that evening and I was given half a jug of water and half a salad sandwich. No other care was taken of me. I was moved to another ward later that evening and the caring sister mentioned above on the new ward immediately provided food and lots of water. I soon felt and looked much better. When I was returned to nil by mouth later that night she requested a doctor prescribe a saline drip. Although I had to wait a further 18 hours to be operated on, because I had the drip, I felt well throughout. While chatting with theatre staff in recovery I was advised to report what had happened.

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