"Saddened by poor attitude of one nurse"

About: Southport & Formby District General Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I was admitted to Southport hospital with pneumonia recently. Although most of the nursing staff were excellent, I found that one member of staff was rude and aggressive towards two of the most vulnerable patients on the ward. A lady opposite me had obvious brain problems, and constantly tried getting out of bed, which resulted in her falling over. She had numerous falls in the 5 days in which I stayed, but staff did not seem able to cope with this. One nurse in particular became impatient and I witnessed her shouting in an aggressive manner at this lady. This upset and angered me greatly. One day I had gone off the ward, when I returned this lady had fallen again. I told her not to move and put a pillow under her arm and pressed my buzzer. About 5 mins later, her husband and daughter came in and discovered her on the floor which obviously upset them. I told them I had pressed the buzzer and they asked how long she had been there, another patient told them about 20 mins. I was as shocked and horrified as they were. They then asked if they could see someone to complain.

The same nurse was putting a monitor with (I presume) a drip attached, onto an elderly patient. My husband was visiting me at the time and I had told him about this particular nurse and how upset I was about her attitude. Whilst she was fixing the drip, the elderly patient asked if she could put it on the other side of the bed, as it was easier for her to be taken to the toilet. To our horror, the nurse became abrupt and aggressive with this patient saying "why didn't you say that before I set it up". She then proceeded to drag the machine, but the patients’ Zimmer frame was in the way. She grabbed it, in a very aggressive manner, and slung it out of the way and tried to set the machine up on the other side. The elderly patient was obviously frightened and kept apologising but this nurse ignored her. My husband and I were shocked and could not believe someone from the caring profession could speak to patients and treat them this way. I am wracked with guilt that I did not intervene and confront this nurse at the time and I have constantly been mulling this over. I have no other complaints and although the staff were busy, most were pleasant and professional during my stay. It saddens me that one member of staff can have such a negative impact on a ward.

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Response from Matthew King

Dear funky,

Thank you for raising your concerns through this posting, although it is difficult for us to look into as you do not say on which ward this took place. I will, however, ensure our Director of Nursing is made aware of your comments.

If you would like to write to our Chief Executive with more details your comments can be investigated more thoroughly.

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