"I was admitted with a possible ..."
About: Darent Valley Hospital Darent Valley Hospital Dartford DA2 8DA
What I liked
I was admitted with a possible CVA. The A&E dept was excellent and I was kept informed all the time - even being told why nothing appeared to be happening. From the arrival of the paramedic through to being moved to a ward, I felt very confident in the staff. They were quite aware that someone in my position needed reassurance.
What could be improved
I was moved from A&E to the CDU where care was good and respectful. Then, at 3 am in the morning I was moved to another ward with no explanation. The ward was one for physically dependent patients, not for cardiac. The nursing staff were excellent on physical care, but I received no psychological care. I was left in a corner to worry about the implications of my "heart attack" and didn't see a doctor from my admission to the ward until some 60 hrs. I couldn't get my "normal" medication e.g. laxatives from nursing staff, who kept telling me that I would have to wait for the doctor. Then I was told the doctor was too busy. As a result I had to make my own decision not to take my prescribed morphine for pain. It seems either that the doctors don't listen to the nursing staff, or there are just not enough of the former to provide an acceptable level of care to so many beds, i.e. I think the doctor was approached by the nurses, but either the doctor ignored my requests, or was called away on a bleep before being able to act. There seemed no attempt to deal with my chronic conditions (my medicines, brought with me, disappeared in the transfers between wards) alongside my acute problems.
I got the impression that the nursing staff on CDU and the subsequent ward, were doing their best, but that staffing levels were not good enough to provide care - only to "get by".