"Nursing staff."

About: Sussex Eye Hospital

I was referred by my GP so arrived promptly for 11am. The nurse on reception seemed rather overwhelmed by the work load and her English was not very good and I felt as though I needed to plead my case to be seen. However, the booking receptionist was pleasant and chatty. After an hour's wait I was seen by an nurse who put drops in my eyes and did some tests. No-on told me how long I would have to wait. I then waited for two more hours. It is obviously a very busy department with A&E and in the same area as Outpatients so there are many people coming in and out all the time. There was no help/facilities ( wheel chairs ) from staff for very elderly patients ( and a lot of them are elderly, who had to sit on hard chairs, sometimes for hours}. I am an ex- theatre nurse and worked at the RSCH for 20 years. My observation of the department and it's staff was that - nearly all the staff were overweight, and one nurse in particular caught my attention. She came arrived to relieve the reception chaos ( there was no-one on it at one point ). She kept one hand in her pocket all the time, she walked slowly about, looked very bored, even when she came out to call a patient. This looked slovenly and unprofessional. She gave the impression that she did not care or could be bothered. I know this is a small thing to pick up, but when I trained there, that would not have been tolerated and nurses would have looked smarter and behaved in an efficient and courteous manner to patients. The only staff nurse on A&E reception looked overwhelmed, and there did not seem to be anyone in overall charge or the situation. Those staff on the Outpatients reception ( although pleasant and helpful to patients), openly ate chocolate and crisps at their work station, or hung around the desk talking loudly amongst themselves - not very professional, especially when patients are sitting, often in discomfort/confusion, and not able to eat or drink. They staff need someone to look after their health/behaviour let alone ours! Having said that - when I eventually did get to see a doctor, she was pleasant and helpful and explained what had happened to my eye and gave me an advice sheet.

Story from NHS Choices

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