"illness whilst on holiday in shrewsbury"
About: Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Shrewsbury SY3 8XQ
Posted by Gerald Taylor
I cannot thank enough the ambulance crew for their timely treatment and the A + E staff and the admissions ward for their after care. However, transference to a ward was a different matter. Items of my personal property were mislaid during the transfer and none had the time (or inclination) to try and locate them. I asked several staff at different times and suggested where my property might have been left but to no avail. I was left with no wash gear, toothbrushes, shaving gear, shower gear and therefore did not wash or shave for a couple of days. Eventually someone listened to me and my wash bag was recovered from exactly where I suggested it might be, it was the either no one had look or no one had had the time to look. I was diagnosed as having pneumonia and could hardly breathe. I was transferred to an oncology ward because they were the only free beds but I wasn't told this before hand. The nurses on the ward did not know how to assemble and set up my humidified oxygen supply. Two sets of humidified oxygen equipment were consigned to the waste bin and declared to be faulty by staff so I read the instructions on the bottle and set up the third one myself, which worked perfectly well. Bed ridden Cancer patients were pressing their call buttons and shouting for pain relief and the toilet but went unresponded to for hours resulting in them wetting and defecating their beds. This did not just happen once but it happened nearly every night and to a lesser degree in the daytime. There was clearly a severe lack of staff on the ward and all the staff were rushed off their feet every minute of their shift, especially the night shifts. I do not blame the staff because they were simply overworked and stressed out most of the time. On one occasion early in the morning (5.30am) the male toilets were out of action because there was no cleaning equipment available, it was all locked away by the cleaners. This is the first time in my life (61yrs) I have been admitted to a hospital and I found it a frightening and unnerving experience. I did not believe the reports I had previously read in the press and thought they must be exaggerated but having now had first hand experience I would not want to go through a similar experience again. It was a bank holiday weekend but I would have thought sufficient numbers of staff would have been retained to handle the day to day running of the wards. Medications were unavailable due to the pharmacy being closed. I understand a new system of working was being implemented. It was clear at the time of my visit that it was not working. Rarely was any staff available to answer calls for assistance. At times I would walk down the corridors to try and find someone but there were no staff in view anywhere. Amongst all the criticism I have leveled, I must say that the food was very good and varied choices were available.