"Highs and lows - Emergency operation and recovery..."
About: Queen's Medical Centre Queen's Medical Centre Nottingham NG7 2UH
I was admitted to hospital on 16th December 2013 and diagnosed with acute Ulcerative Colitis. After failing all medical treatment I underwent an emergency colectomy with ileostomy. I spent time in four wards throughout my stay: B3, F21, E12 (HDU) and E14 and in all but one, I received a brilliant level of care. On the whole, my care at the QMC was exemplary. Upon admission I was promptly seen by a consultant. After spending a few nights on B3 and receiving a good level of care I was transferred to F21. I cannot say thank you enough to the staff on F21. Every one of the nurses was compassionate, hard-working and attentive despite the busy nature of the ward and it being the run-up to the Christmas period. The ward was decorated for Christmas and all staff did their best to keep up a festive spirit. I was scared about the possibility of surgery and not only did the nurses provide top medical care, but also took the time to reassure me. They treated everybody with dignity and respect. They were very welcoming to my visitors. The gastroenterologists and later the consultant surgeon who treated me explained everything thoroughly and were extremely caring and understanding throughout. When I didn't understand things they'd told me they were always prepared to explain again. My consultant surgeon even came and spoke to me on New Year's Day before operating on Jan 2nd. I cannot thank her enough - not only for saving my life! But also for talking to me with real sympathy and honesty that made such a difficult situation a lot more bearable. The care I received in E12 (HDU) was of a very high standard and I was looked after brilliantly throughout. However, I cannot honestly say the same for the care I received in E14. Sadly, after what was a largely positive stay, the week I spent in E14 left me desperate to leave. Several staff members in particular were rude and very unkind. Pain relief was woefully inadequate and always late - I was left, 5 days after open abdominal surgery, without any relief for 7 hours before it became so intolerable a doctor had to administer an emergency dose of IV morphine. Nurses argued openly in front of me about my care. One older lady was left for 90 mins+ needing the toilet (until she was crying and begging) - nurses came regularly to snap at her that they were busy, and she'd have to wait. Even the Christian 'support' people were terribly rude and when I said I wanted to attend a church service in a bed or chair (I was still bedbound at this point) they told me to 'stop making such a big deal and walk'. One morning I got out of bed, my bed was stripped then left unmade for 8 hours. My new stoma bag (full of my own faeces) leaked onto my open wound and when I asked a nurse to help me change it, she told me she needed her lunch break. There are more stories, but I've run out of characters. In short, the majority of my care was excellent, but E14 let the whole stay down. I would be terrified to ever return to that ward.