"The inside story from the other side"

About: Solihull Hospital

(as the patient),

I work at Solihull Hospital, and for 99.9% of the time I'm proud to say that.

On the day the snow came this year my husband woke up shivery. I took no notice, but by that night it was clear that he had a bad case of cellulitis; an infection of the deep tissues of the skin. He was systemically ill with a high temperature and severe pain.

I'm a nurse and, having taken him to the Medical Admissions Unit, I was allowed to try and treat him at home. I battled with this condition with IV and oral antibiotics for over a week to no avail.

Eventually, with an increasingly poorly husband, I admitted defeat, and he was admitted to the hospital.

He was worried about the possiblity of infection, but soon relaxed when he realised that the staff were incredibly careful, and the cleaners diligent.

Whilst visiting I witnessed some remarkable caring skills as demonstrated by the nurses; the way they dealt with confused and elderly people was kind, respectful, and professional, despite the extra work and disruption involved.

I was kept informed throughout.

It was not an experience we would care to repeat because no stay in hospital is desirable. However the 10 days spent there were as good as they could possibly have been.

I only wish that, just now and then, people would realise that most of us in the NHS really do care about our patients. We simply despair when patients and relatives come to us with negative opinions gleaned directly from the reactionary media, and don't even give us a chance to prove ourselves.

I didn't experience patients being 'talked down to' or belittled. I saw kindness and concern. I saw good evidence-based care in a culture of excellence and innovation.

It's the NHS for heaven's sake - lots of people want a Rolls Royce whereas we generally provide a perfectly good Ford Escort. Get over it folks, and appreciate what you've got!

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