"having waited hours for an ambulance ..."

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

having waited hours for an ambulance that was called by my mothers GP - finally 3 hours later she arrived. As a GP callout she was apparently not priority. Having been wheeled thru she was in the corridor in pain for at least another 2 hours with us standing round her to shield her from the drunk on the next trolley and the drug addict who got off the trolley and downed a bottle of pills that had been left on the nurses desk! Appalling - in fact I alerted the staff to the fact that he was attempting to strangle himself with his own tie! The staff were under so much pressure - no one was slacking, but the facilities are severely lacking and ou dated. We were scared to be standing in the vacinity. People such as the two I have mentioned clearly need treating and help - but when there are elderely, ill patients within feet of them the whole experience is beyond belief! There has to be facilities for people with drink and drug issues so that they can be treated seperately - doesn't the hospital management realise how threatening they are? ( or appear to be) They are clearly unpredictable and that is what makes the whole situation so scary. Once diagnosed Mum had good medical treatment on level 8, however when I visited I had to draw attention to the fact that her face was abnormal and her speech slurred; she had in fact had a monir stroke - and nursing staff had not picked up on this! The medical care was good - but a little more time actually looking at patients when regular blood pressure and oxygen level checks are being carried out would improve the situation vastly. Some staff go about their duties as tasks and seem to eradicate the 'human' touch. Mum was not assisted to get on to a high bed for example - she mentioned she couldn't do it alone (elderly and under 5 ft tall) and was given a step to climb on to - but no arm to hold.. such a simple thing, which could have made her feel more secure. She was discharged too early and is now home.

What could be improved

The 'human' side of nursing seems to be disappearing fast - it is too easy to put all this down to lack of time - it takes seconds to look at someone and really take a visual monitor of their condition. Being offered a helpful arm - doesn't cost anything - is safer - reassuring to especially elderly patients. Surely if you are working in a caring profession, caring should come naturally?

Anything else?

I hope she doesn't have to go back there - but also hope somebody at the hospital may take time to read this and get back to me.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

We are extremely sorry to hear that you have concerns about the nursing care your mother received at our hospital. It is our aim to make sure that all our patients feel that they have been treated with kindness and compassion and that we have done the best we can by them. As you have not provided contact details we are unable to contact you directly. However, you are welcome to contact our Complaints Department to discuss the issues you have raised in more detail. You can contact Complaints on 01273 696955 (ask for complaints); or email complaints@bsuh.nhs.uk.

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