"Suggestions for improving QMC"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / General surgery

(as the patient),

In December 2008 I was admitted to QMC due to emphysema. When I was admitted to the ward nobody showed patients how to use the call button, so elderly ladies couldn’t be heard in the night calling for help. Ladies in their 80s were addressed by their Christian names by young nurses they have never seen in their lives, and if maiden ladies with no grandchildren, very often they fail to respond. In spite of all promises, the ward I was in was mixed. I wonder how many MPs are admitted to mixed wards or do they all go “private”?

In think that modern hospitals should have the facility for people on oxygen to go to the lavatory and the bathroom with oxygen points to plug into. The only night when we were able to have the strong overhead lights off in the ward at 10.30pm meant that when one patient was moved to the City Hospital half an hour later everyone was fast asleep. It was unbelievable how much noise was made as beds were changed and the two porters had loud conversations with the ward staff.

From what I saw, where patients need cot sides to prevent them from falling out but are able to get their legs through the top bars, then I think cot cushions should be used. The lady opposite me had dreadfully damaged legs because she was thrashing about and pulling her legs backwards and forwards but apparently there were no cot cushions available in the rest of the building. When a patient has to have cot sides to prevent them from falling out then surely it must be assumed that it is not wise to put them in a bed side chair even when only to change the sheets. Yes you can guess, she ended up on the floor because one of the nurses was called away for a second or two.

Due to apparent staff shortages, the nurses have to take their breaks at set times. From what I saw, if this conflicted with feeding a patient, then the patient got left with only a mouthful of food or so and the same applied to assistance with drinks. Not so good when the patient isn’t able to feed themselves! I think that bedside lockers should be able to be locked, to avoid a light fingered neighbour raiding them. It is embarrassing for a relative to have to keep on tackling the “offenders” visitors. The car park at QMC has been closed for some months (unsafe) there doesn’t appear to be any move to demolish it but it is still fully lit day and night.

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