"Need more nurses"

About: Croydon University Hospital

I fell and broke my hip. 999 wouldn't send an ambulance so had to call 111" difficult because I was in agony and am blind. 111sent an ambulance. Ambulance team just brilliant. a and E doctors great too. Gave me morphine diagnosed a crushed hip and I was admitted to Queens 1. Just before leaving A and E asked for more morphine but it didn't arrive. Went to the ward asked for painkillers but for the next 12 hours they could only give paracetamol and then codeine because there were no doctors to prescribe anything stronger. So I spent a night in agony with no sleep. Next morning I had my op and the surgical team was amazing. I was able to have an epidural and felt nothing. Everyone was kind relaxed and competent. I then went back to Queens 1 and then queens 2 for a week. It soon became clear that there were not enough nurses and healthcare assistants to care safely for all the patients particularly at night. Things were missed. I had to listen to a 97 year old lady asking for a bedpan for ages. People were being sick and not being assisted. In the morning a student nurse sorted out the lady and gave her some blankets cos she was really cold. I saw a few instances of nurses being uncaring. There were systems in place to avoid a mid staffs ie they checked on fluid intake and the catering people were excellent in trying to help you find something that you would like to eat. But a few times I said I was in pain but no pain relief supplied. They forgot to check my blood sugar I am a type 1 diabetic. There also seemed to be good periods and bad periods determined largely by who was leading the nursing team. I saw good leadership and cases where I nurse seemed to be doing all the work others wouldn't help. Some nurses were very caring others clearly did not put patients first. A patient was crying in pain getting onto a bedpan and asked for a catheter. I had been given on cos I hadn't peed for 12 hours and it saved me. The nurse said no. Why not? The lady had a broken leg. Anyway. The patient nurse ratios are too high. One nurse for 9 patients one night. Just wasn't enough. There were two out of six patients over 90 in my bit and one with learning difficulties. The rest of us immobile.

Story from NHS Choices

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