"Ethos of care and communication"

About: Watford General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was a patient in Watford General Acute Admissions Unit (level 1 yellow and blue wards) for 3 days last week and cannot express strongly enough how impressed I was with the care and compassion shown by all the nursing staff.

One the first ward the staff were having to deal with a trying situation where 3 of the 6 patients had severe dementia. One with vascular dementia was a sweet man smiling all the time but very confused who constantly needed things explained, another was terrified all the time with his lack of understanding of where he was and what was going on and the third expressed his confusion and frustration with rage. As these patients were physically quite active they needed 24 hour a day constant care yet I never saw them dealt with in any other way than gentleness compassion and respect. I found it a moving and instructive experience (though I have to say that it was easier for me to appreciate what was going on around me when I wasn’t in significant pain myself).

Though the other ward I was on was less demanding on the staff I again experienced nothing but care and the many personal interactions with the staff who though busy always made time to listen and chat, certainly helped my recovery. A pleasant surprise was that this care went right the way through to the ancillary staff such as those cleaning, bringing the tea and meals etc who also made the time to interact with the patients. It felt like the whole organisation had been imbued with this ethos of care and communication.

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