"Medical Admissions RD&E hospital"
About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Exeter EX2 5DW http://www.rdehospital.nhs.uk/
Posted by HazelR (as ),
I was called by a GP and told to go to the triage unit at the RD&E with an overnight bag on a Saturday evening after some worrying blood test results.
The nurses in the initial triage section were rushed off their feet but very kind. Teresa, the nurse in charge, was excellent. Lots of 'Hello my name is'. They are clearly very aware of the 4 hour target for moving people out of this ward. I was fitted with a canula very painlessly and had an ECG and loads of obs.
When my painkillers wore off I asked for the Ok to take a couple of paracetamol. There was quite a delay before I got permission after a brief chat with a Dr and the pain got quite bad. Other than this I didn't have any contact with a Dr in the 4 hours I was on this ward.
What needs to be improved here is communication. What was I lying around waiting for- to see a Dr? For a bed? For blood test results? What would happen to me? Who would decide? How ill was I? When I managed to grab one of the staff flying hither and thither they could tell me nothing.
Once the 4 hours were up a nurse I hadn't seen before came and wheeled my bed down onto the AMU ward. Luckily, because I had vomited I was in a side room on my own. It was 11pm by this time and I was very tired. I was seen by a junior Dr, Dr Dan who told me my notes from admission with all the obs etc had got lost. As far as I am aware they didn't find them again while I was there. He took my medical history then went away after saying he needed a urine sample. After waiting a bit longer I went out to the nurses' station and told them the Dr wanted a sample which they then arranged.
I asked if I could go to bed and was told that I could. I then had to ask for bedding - my bed just had a bottom sheet. A nurse dumped a sheet and blanket on the bed and left so my husband and I made the bed. I went out again and asked for permission to take my meds which I had bought in with me and then went to bed. I was woken in the night for obs and got up a few times to go to the loo. I was so lucky having a side room and I did get some sleep.
I was aware however of loud voices at night at the nurses' station. At one point when I went out to the loo they appeared to be having a staff meeting around the desk and were talking in normal tones which no apparent effort to whisper. I know that they had a difficult night. A sectioned patient kept leaving and having to be brought back. No psychiatric team was available till the morning - surely in a major hospital like this it should be a 24 hour service?
Early next morning I saw a consultant ( Dr James I think) together with Dr Dan and a third Dr. I was told that if I could keep some breakfast down I could go home and that I would be referred for an outpatients gastroscopy later. Nothing was going to stop me keeping some cornflakes down by this stage!
A different junior Dr then appeared and told me I needed a chest X-ray. This was the first I'd heard of this but I got dressed and set off for the X ray dept. I was seen quickly. I then asked at the nurses station whether I could go. They said they would check and a nurse appeared and removed my cannula. As he was walking away I called after him to ask if I could go and he said yes. I rang my husband to come and collect me and packed my bag. I set off for the main entrance. I called ' good bye and thank you' to the staff at the nurses station as I left but no one responded.
Overall I would say that the triage team did ok under the circumstances but need to keep patients better informed.
On the medical admissions ward there was a serious lack of care, consideration and communication. Horrible!