"There is nothing that I liked ..."

About: Basildon University Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

There is nothing that I liked about this hospital

What could be improved

My brother was in Frank Ahrens ward in January and February 2008. He had a very rare heart complaint and died in February 2008. I found the experience of visiting him on this ward quite frightening. Because my brother was not improving and at the time we were under the impression that he was being treated for heart failure My brothers wife, my brother and I requested a meeting with the doctor or consultant. We were advised that we couldn't do that, we could however wait around until after the rounds one morning and see if someone would see us. Obviously this is not how the system works and we said as much. We were then told that someone would see us the next evening, we asked for somewhere private where we could talk but the meeting took place around the bed with the curtains drawn, which meant that everyone on the ward, patients and visitors could listen in on the conversation. Nurses on night duty used the patients TV room to have a sleep whilst they were on duty and locked the patients out of the room. The nurses ordered Chinese take away and ate that on the ward. I witness one elderly frail man being shouted at by a nurse because he could not understand what was happening to him and had got very confused. Nurses today it seems just take blood pressure and temperatures and dispense tablets. There is no empathy, no thought that these patients might be frightened and would like someone to speak a few soft words to them. My brother found out that he was very seriously ill because indiscreet nursing staff were chatting about his case at the nurses station and his bed was just a few feet away. I assume they thought he was asleep but he overheard what they were saying. How awful must that be? It is bad enough when the facts are presented by a doctor or consultant but to overhear a discussion like this is just beyond belief. I have no other experience of hospitals but if this is what the care is like then heaven help us all.

Anything else?

I wonder whether this ward is the exeption or the rule? There is no compassion or even empathy amongst the staff who worked on the ward when my brother was there. We have paid nurses more and more money and taken away mundane tasks but it has not improving their caring skills. Patients need to feel someone cares, can give them a little time and say a few soft words. Is that really too much to ask from doctors and nurses?

Story from NHS Choices

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