"Effective pain relief for my daughter Doctors ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Effective pain relief for my daughter

Doctors and medical care provided could not be faulted

One particularly helpful radiographer on Friday 8th August

Super care post operatively in the theatre unit - lovely articulate, caring nurse.

Good pain management

Helpful, cheerful porters.

What could be improved

Nursing, nursing, nursing and communication.

The nursing care was regrettably absent. Not one nurse asked my daughter (9) how she was during her stay, if she was hungry/thirsty/comfortable. The ward was extremely noisy at night with one child allowed to watch videos until 1.30am. As this stopped the nurses discussed holidays very loudly for more than an hour. Every time I passed the nursing station that night the nurses were surfing the internet.

Of significant concern was the fact that a child was not accompanied by her mother during the night and was virtually ignored by the nursing staff. I attended her when she awoke crying - there were no inquiries as to whether she was thirsty, hungry or comfortable and no attempt to provide her with a book, toy or tv by the staff - who had made an inordinate amount of social noise and were observed surfing the net!

There appeared to be no care at all from nursing staff above and beyond the minimum checks. Even the pain relief was left by the bed for me to administer.

Every bit of information had to be chased up, ie, the doctor was supposed to come when I arrived - two and a half hours later I chased it. My daughter was supposed to have been first on the list for theatre - an hour and a half later I had to chase it - evidently the plaster technician was awol.

At teatime I was shocked to overhear a doctor being told by the the nurses that they had been busy and a sick child could stay in cubicles for 4 hours to give them a break. They certainly hadn't been busy during the night and I didn't see much nursing during the day!!

My family was visiting Thanet and I am thankful that our local London hospitals provide nursing care of a far higher standard.

Anything else?

The fracture clinic - 14th August 2008

The two clerical staff were doing their best to be helpful in difficult circumstances. This in direct contrast to the nursing staff who had no perception of what represents patient focussed polite behaviour. The clinic was overcrowded with standing room only for those with broken limbs and the elderly. It was running extremely late.

The nursing staff were shouting at patients and visitors. One nurse yelled at my daughter and I to get out of the corridor and when it was my daughter's turn, after a very long wait, to be seen and I didn't jump to it fast enough (possibly because my daughter was in a hospital wheelchair) the name was yelled again in a most disrespectful manner. Might it not have been faster for the lady to have helped us rather than to shout at us - when we entered the doctor's room he got up to do so whilst the same nurse sullenly watched him.

Of even more concern, there was another nurse who loudly and irritably complained about how busy the staff were. The level of discourtesy was palpable expecially as the patients around her were far from well. She was a gray haired, elderly woman, wearing white but interestingly no ID. Many of the patients were shaking their heads and I remarked that the patients were not there from choice. She rudely responded that there was no point telling her - complain to the high ups. The overall situation was unacceptable; this woman's attitude was beyond belief.

Certainly the QEQM fracture clinic was the worst hospital experience I have ever encountered. My experiences of the the QEQM's nursing staff in general was very disappointing. I hope the director of nursing will take on board my comments and act to improve standards.

Fortunately, were were just visitors to Thanet and my daughter's next appointment took place at another hospital where standards of patient care are considerably higher. I am glad we did not have to come back to QEQM.

Story from NHS Choices

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