"Many of the staff did their very ..."

About: Hereford County Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Many of the staff did their very best to please and make my stay comfortable, once I was on the ward appropriate to my injury.

The Consultant was superb, taking time to explain, at great length, my diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, and was sympathetic to my frustrations at suffering an injury which has meant I am greatly incapacitated, on a long-term basis.

What could be improved

From A&E I was put on a ward, for a week, which was not related to my injury, and which was being used as an "overflow". This meant that I was isolated from the Consultant and Team responsible for my care, and amongst Nurses who didn't seem to have a clue about dealing with Orthopaedic injuries.

To summon help meant long waits for Nurses from another ward to be called, and the 4 of us who shared the room all felt "abandoned".

There was little sympathy when my pain was difficult to get under control and little, or no, emotional support.

Anything else?

My care improved considerably once I was on an orthopedic ward, but I was concerned by the treatment of other patients, particularly those elderly and confused.

One lady kept undressing and would come to my bed, repeatedly, during the night, naked and confused.

Once, she touched my damaged leg and I felt I had to sleep with the sides up on my bed and the bed raised up as high as it would go, to put me out of her reach.

This incident has made me fearful of undergoing surgery at this hospital, which my injury may yet require, as I felt I needed my "wits about me" at all times.

I was consistently ringing my bell to summon help from the Nurses on the behalf of others.

Another incident occurred when an elderly lady returned from surgery and climbed out of her bed in the night, dragging drips and drains with her, looking for the toilet.

I felt more supervision was needed for post-operative patients, particularly at night, when it seemed we were just "left", unless we were well enough and alert enough to summon help.

Also, staff seemed "at a loss" coping with "emotional" problems - eg. I was very scared, upset and frustrated to learn my injury would have such long-term, catastrophic implications on my "working life", and struggled to come to terms with this, when initially told, but felt unsupported in this.

I also requested help from the Social Worker, particularly with regard to claiming necessary benefits, but was given none.

In fact, I have only just got this side of my life sorted out now...3 months later, now I am out of hospital, convalescing, and able to look into these things myself.

Story from NHS Choices

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