"An excellent standard of care at the PRUH."

About: Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

In the past week I have been in the care of the A&E department, the Acute Admissions Unit and the Cardiac Care Unit at the PRUH. My experience in each of these three departments has been excellent - I have nothing but praise for all of the staff I met. The level of care and attention afforded to the patients is amazing and humbling to behold - all of the staff are committed, incredibly hard working, kind, tolerant and patient. There is one thing that is badly wrong with the PRUH and it is not the building, nor the food (which by the way was good - plenty of choice, healthy portions of fresh, nourishing and tasty food and I am very fussy about my diet), and definitely not the staff, who are saints given what they have to put up with. The problem is the patients. The way some people behave in hospital is horrifying. A young man brought in during the night having passed out from a "legal high" drug overdose was so abusive to the staff, refused to allow them to take a blood sample (you can imagine why), and behaved like a disgusting animal during his mercifully brief stay. I also witnessed "rants" by friends and family members complaining about various frankly infinitesimally tiny issues, and somehow overlooking the fact that the staff had saved the lives of their loved ones. There is a perverse sense of "entitlement" from those who contribute so little to society and yet feel they have some right to demand so much. The other problem is that we are living longer and the strain on the system is increasing exponentially. With precious little support in the community there are more and more elderly people in hospital who need care and can't get the level of help they need to cope at home. It is all about your expectations - when you visit the PRUH, you are not going to a five star hotel, a spa or a Gordon Ramsey restaurant. You will be looked after and cared for to the very best of the ability of a dedicated team of professionals who work stupid hours, endangering heir own health and who are human beings, not machines. They will do everything they possibly can to make you well. Finally, my sincere thanks to everyone I met at the PRUH. A week observing you all at work and seeing what you achieve and what you have to put up with to help people was a truly humbling experience. I don't know how you do it, or at times why you do it, but I'm truly grateful that you do.

Story from NHS Choices

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