"My dad was a patient in H3, C4, ..."

About: North Manchester General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

My dad was a patient in H3, C4, HDU and ICU.

-the hospital has made big effort to encourage use of gloves and hand washing (although my dad caught MRSA and a hospital chest infection)

-affordable food in the canteen

-doctors usually speak to patients and not over their heads

- a small number of excellent nurses

- the kitchen/TV rooms/bedroom/bathroom for relatives in ICU (though many relatives were not told about these!)

-staff in the general office were good

What could be improved

-the hospital needs commitment to saving lives rather than encouraging old people to die or leaving them to die by neglect. I was shocked by the general attitude.

-seriously ill patients are left unattended, unable to use the nurse call- often they are in a lot of pain/need changing/are choking/have dislodged machinery etc. The nurse station counters are too high for nurses to see over in HDU and in other wards nurses are far away.

-Far too much attention is paid to machines over and above the patients themselves- the monitors don't know everything!

-ORGANISATION: it was terrible. Notes and medicines did not get from one ward to another, nurses did not read notes or not sufficiently, essential information was not passed on, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

- Attitude: frequent disregard for what patients say and, especially, what relatives say, even when they know a lot about their condition. Doctors ignored us, not even saying hello when we were there, and some nurses were incredibly rude. We were never told anything, except a few gloomy prognostications which seemed designed to encourage us all to give up and except death. They obviously had had no training in speaking to relations. Many were not capable of dealing with distressed relatives either.

-Facilities: No counselling available for relatives, no leaflets/posters on where to get food/ tea and coffee, and few staff told relatives about these- many relatives were sitting by the bed of a loved one with nothing for days. Not enough room for relatives except in the ICU.

- Nurses will happily use relatives as free staff, letting them do essential services. There are obvious budgetary restraints eg putting patients in normal wards when they need high dependency, refusal to admit some older patients into intensive care, insifficient staff, inadequate facilities and getting the impression that facilities are rationed to the most 'worthy' patients, whoever they are...

Anything else?

I was horrified by this hospital and have told everyone I know to avoid it and, if they can, NHS hospitals generally. There isn't room to mention all of the things that are wrong with it!

Story from NHS Choices

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