About: North Manchester General Hospital North Manchester General Hospital Manchester M8 5RB
Posted by Jayhay
Already disabled by osteo-arthritis, in severe pain and awaiting my second hip replacement, major emergency surgery for a perforated bowel three weeks' ago has left me feeling neglected and traumatised. Ward C5, in my opinion (and that of others), should be condemned. It is archaic, impersonal and over-crowded with no space for patients' or nurses' equipment, and little privacy. I found the environment depressing. Cleaners did a good job under the circumstances, unlike the nursing staff. The bathroom was inadequate, unusable and had insufficient disabled facilities; no space for toiletries and no mirror, which I needed to change my stoma bag. As I struggled on my own, the shower constantly flooded the bathroom. Waking up to find I had a stoma was, and still is, a shock and very hard to come to terms with. The support and understanding I needed when feeling so vulnerable was lacking. I found staff insensitive, uncaring and inattentive. I am dependent on a walking frame so cannot carry anything. With no staff willing to guide me, I would have had to struggle with all the equipment, including drips and toiletries, into the bathroom. Frequently, I waited all day for someone to help me and then I was left to my own devices. The support and guidance I needed on how to handle the stoma whilst struggling with my disability, lack of knowledge and shock didn't materialise. I observed a culture of ignoring patients' requests. The staff seemed to do only what they wanted to do. This was sad for students who should have been shown a role model of patient-focused nursing. Staff were unwilling to respond to my requests for assistance with personal care, e.g. I waited two days before anyone assisted me to have a wash. The food was adequate but the system of ordering from a menu each day was ignored by staff. Patients didn't receive what they ordered as meals were given out ad-hoc. Concerned that I needed the correct diet, I complained which resulted in me receiving the ordered meals, but unfortunately, these were accompanied by sarcastic comments. Medication was often late, due to the difficulties of a new system. This resulted in severe pain as I didn't receive painkillers at the right time. Ready for discharge, I waited about four hours for my prescription. When I received it, I noticed the anti-biotics weren’t included. I had asked many times for referral to STARS, the district nurse and the stoma nurse. On returning home, I discovered NO aftercare referrals had been made and I had to telephone myself the day after my discharge to arrange this. It took ten days before the STARS team visited. This whole experience has left me feeling despairing, hopeless and helpless. My treatment was not only undignified in the extreme, but unnecessary. A change of staff attitude would result in the quality of care patients deserve.