"The OT's were pretty good ..."

About: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (King's Lynn)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The OT's were pretty good but overworked and under-resourced.

What could be improved

Nursing care; selection, recruitment and more than anything else nurse training in basic nursing care needs improving. The staff nurses were lazy, uninterested, and more interested in paperwork than actually TOUCHING a patient (YUK). They were too important than to actually CARE for the sick. This they left to Auxiliaries or stupid student nurses, neither of which should be allowed anywhere near anything with a pulse. The auxiliaries ruled the ward (despite the illusion held by nurses they did) and the students thought they knew everything. This is not just my impression; there is a widespread sense of despair about this hospital in the town. The Matrons are little more than bullies who wander round with clipboards; staff morale is appalling and rightly so. Its clearly an awful place to work if the patient experience is a guide. Sisters are too young and inexperienced to hold the position they do; they are either ineffectual or bullies themselves. No one respects the needs of the patients and don't get me started on hospital food. Malnutrition in the NHS is well recorded and this hospital skimps so much on food quality and preparation that a serious study is needed, again, not helped by the nursing staff who just don't see they have a role in nutrition. Come back Nightingale; All is forgiven.

Anything else?

When anyone has the temerity to complain the same tired old pithy rubbish is wheeled out every time; It goes like this;1. we are sorry this happened, 2. this has never happened before, 3. your experience is unique, 4. we've made sure it won't happen again, 5. go away. (Without fail this happens to everyone). If you pursue it further mysteriously either your notes go missing or the relevant documents go missing. The complaints process changes nothing and is a waste of time.

Also, the amount of pointless paperwork filled in on a daily basis has more to do with the system protecting itself than it has to delivering patient care or protecting the patient. If more resources were put to delivering basic nursing care in the first place instead of filling in paperwork, if more resources were given to training students that nursing is all about CARE instead of management or glamour, then there would be fewer complaints and less need to fill in pointless bits of paper that are on the whole ignored unless something goes wrong.

Nurses doctors consultants and therapists would improve care if they actually listened to both the patient and the relatives instead of jumping in with both feet and assuming from day one that they knew all the answers. Relatives have been caring for their patients for years and are worth listening to, and patients know their bodies better than the nurses etc. All too often nurses are ignorant about drugs, their side effects, and especially ignorant about the consequences of opiate based analgesia and are USELESS at advocating for the patient.

This may seem a rant. It isn't. Just because I'm not toeing the party line doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about. This hospital is dangerous, badly organised and managed, and the rot really starts with nurses. Too many good ones have been promoted beyond their competency. This needs a closer look by the Commissioners.

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