"I was admitted to Tincroft Ward ..."

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

(as the patient),

What I liked

I was admitted to Tincroft Ward in readiness for a bowel operationon 26th May. I observed before the operation most of the staff were for the most part to be found in huddles, obviously dissatisfied with their lot moaning amongst themselves. Call bells went unanswered for sometimes up to 10 minutes and that was day and night.

The attitude of the nursing staff varied from a night crew who were on for the night following my operation and the following night who were kind courteous and quietly went about their duties and could not have done more to help myself and those around me. The next unhappy stage was a night crew which for two nights kept lights blazing long after it would have seemed necessary and who made as much noise and fuss as they possibly could. During this episode there was a massive bed changing session, which I accept was not the fault of the night staff and this kept most patients awake and in full light until after 1 am. The staff made a wholly unacceptable event a total disaster involving every patient on the ward.

The staff during the day were of mixed ability and attitude and the whole atmosphere was one of unpleasantness and a demoralised staff.

I was given the incorrect medication by a temporary (I suppose bank staff nurse) and luckily I was aware it was wrong and did not take it. The following morning I self-discharged myself in order to try and get better in an atmosphere at home which at least was quiet and in which I could rest.

The whole issue of low morale needs to be addressed and if necessary their grievances addressed. Patients should not be made to suffer what was clearly not their problem. They were admitted for treatment and to get well and with a staff with low morale which spilled over in their care of patients this is surely not right and Treliske cannot be proud of this.

Other parts of Treliske in particular Tolgus Ward were exemplary when my husband was treated for oesophageal cancer last year.

What could be improved

Morale, training of staff in patient care and treating them with dignity and respect. Hygiene and things like schedules for drug rounds need sharpening up. I observed staff nurses giving out medications, touching patients and then moving on to the next patient without using the sprays provided at the foot of each bed. Only one male staff nurse was scrupulous in that discipline. Staff needed to be re-trained in scheduling tasks as mostly the words heard were "no I cannot help I am busy at the moment you will have to wait" and then they very rarely returned of their own accord and usually had to be asked again or another nurse found. Some of the tasks they carried on doing were not of the highest ranking but at least they should have remembered and returned to the patients who needed help.

Story from NHS Choices

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