"Most, but not all, of the nursing ..."

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Most, but not all, of the nursing staff were helpful and friendly. The Patient Advisory Liason Service are excellent, their assistance eventually enabled me to be transferred to a hospital nearer home

What could be improved

Communication with myself as a patient, especially from the consultant and doctors. Information as to my condition and as to why tests were being carried out was sketchy and changed constantly depending on as to whether I was talking to the nurses or the doctors. I was informed I would be seeing the physiotherapist regularly, saw them only once. Summoning attention on the buzzer system was a nightmare, whilst in severe pain it took over an hour for someone to answer it, I couldn't get out of bed to get help, as unable to walk and someone had removed my wheelchair. My requested transfer to Haywards Heath was on and off like a yoyo. The food was disgusting, how anybody is supposed to recover from illness is a mystery, lost a lot of weight during my stay. My sister visited all the way from Wiltshire with my young nephew, I was originally told that I could go to the cafeteria with them, but then told I could only go down to the front enterance as yet another attempt to transfer me was underway and they needed to be able to find me - very strange as my mother had been informed 10 minutes earlier on the phone that the transfer wouldn't be happening that day. I ended up only seeing them for 10 minutes as it was far to dangerous for the little one there as it is by the main road. Whilst I appreciate that it is a teaching hospital the gaggle of junior doctors and medical staff around your bed can be very intimidating, especially to someone as young as myself, mum, on my behalf, requested via Patient Liason that this should stop, which it did, eventually. There was no encouragement to think positively, I spent days laying there wondering whether the feeling and use of my legs was going to come back without any reassurance, as I already suffer from depression this was a very difficult time for me.

Anything else?

Mum phoned the ward late one night to ask the nurses to make sure that I was back in bed as I was very distressed and threatening to discharge myself. The nurse came to check on me and then had a go at me about it not being their fault I hadn't been transferred. All in all my condition deteriorated during my stay at the Royal Sussex, it did not start to improve until I reached the Princess Royal where I found the staff to be more communicative, informative and full of support and encouragement. All the time I was at the Royal Sussex I felt I was a nuisance because they couldn't diagnose my condition - I am now informed that this could have been because the lumbar puncture was not carried out when I was first admitted. I felt that I was being pushed to one side and ignored. Mum and Dad felt constantly stressed as they couldn't get any consistent information out of the medical staff. After a few days of treatment at the Princess Royal I was back on my feet, although still on the medication prescribed and was allowed home on the proviso that if my condition deteriorated again I was to go back to them immediately.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››