"I was not listened to by staff"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I was admitted to hospital for one week in July, I found that I was not listened to and staff forgot what I said as soon as they left my bed. I was offered six pain killers within one hour and I refused because I would have overdosed.

Different staff telling you different things was another problem and I didn't know who to believe. The ward was understaffed and nurses were complaining. I had meals missed as they couldn't be bothered to check who was admitted.

During the night the staff were laughing and talking loudly as well as banging doors and chairs screeching on the floor.

You go into hospital for rest and to try and get better but I was glad to be home and to feel safe.

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Response from Jackie Dietrich, Communications Manager, Communications and Patient Experience, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you, Jeanette, for taking the time to post feedback about being a patient at Russells Hall Hospital. We always aim to offer the best possible care to our patients and we are sorry if we fell short of this aim during your visit.

Maintaining a good level of communication and ensuring patients are involved in all aspects of their treatment is very important and it is disappointing to read that you did not feel our staff were as attentive as we would expect them to be.

We would like to offer you our reassurance that all drugs administered are documented very carefully. Painkillers would not have been offered unless it was safe and appropriate to do so. We have a system in place of scoring patients by measuring their pain levels to determine the amount of pain relief needed. It is not clear if you were offered pain killers on six different occasions or six different pain killers. The quantity of any pain killer administered is recorded and the total quantity given is then restricted. Different types of painkillers can be taken together, for example, those that serve as an analgesic and those that are an anti inflammatory.

We take nutrition and hydration very seriously and it is totally unacceptable if you missed out on meals. We have a robust system to ensure all patients receive food and if, for any reason, a patient is not on the ward at mealtimes – for example if they are in X-ray – we have provision to provide food at any time of the day or night and we must apologise if this did not happen.

We sympathise with your comment about noise at night and we are taking steps to reduce it, for example introducing soft close bins. However, some patients do need nursing care throughout the night and inevitably other patients will be disturbed. We are extremely sorry if you were disturbed by nurses laughing as this is not behaviour we would condone. We have passed your feedback onto our matrons and lead nurses and asked them to reinforce the importance of keeping noise to a minimum at night during their next team meeting.

It is difficult to comment further without knowing when you were in hospital and which ward you stayed on. We would welcome the opportunity to investigate the concerns you have raised and so we would encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 who would be very happy to arrange a meeting.

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