"Experience of non cardiac patient on cardiac..."
About: Royal Preston Hospital Royal Preston Hospital Preston PR2 9HT
On 7th July 2015 whilst undergoing chemotherapy I was admitted via a&e due to complications and received excellent care. I was admitted to the assessment ward and then at 2am to the cardiac catheter suite. The agency nurse on duty on the catheter suite that night was very professional, caring and knowledgeable of my overall condition. They explained the ward was being used for patients who would be discharged the following day. The following day, the staff nurse (who had been moved from another ward to care for me and the other two patients in the bay) and the HCA were equally professional, knowledgeable & caring. Sadly, the staff who normally work on this catheter unit were rude, abrupt and disrespectful to patients who were not their own. The consultant abruptly asked who was in charge and subsequently told the staff caring for me if anyone was to ring they were not to let them have the remaining bed on our bay as it was for their patient. The consultant proceeded to set up the bed and equipment themself.
The patient who arrived later was obviously a member of staff and was visited by other members of staff during their few hours there. When I went to use the bathroom near to the bay I was shocked to be spoken appallingly to by one of the cardiac nurses who told me I was not to use that toilet as it was for "my patients coming back from surgery". They continued to say they had already told another patient we were to use a men’s toilet (i am female) at the other end of the ward and that they had put a sign on that toilet door saying ‘ladies.’
I was made to feel uncomfortable and that I basically should not be on the ward. The cardiac patients were obviously thought to be of more importance and to be in more need of hospital care. The nurse and their colleagues, who were obviously of the same belief, had no knowledge of my illness or reason for having been admitted. I can understand patients returning from surgery were vulnerable to infection, being a chemotherapy patient I was equally if not more vulnerable. I was suffering terrible side effects from chemotherapy that had affected my ability to walk without being breathless and in pain. I went to find the toilet they spoke of, only to see two gentlemen’s bathrooms. I spoke to the staff in my bay who apologised for their ‘colleague.’ I was tired by this point and the HCA walked me back to the men’s toilet, waited outside and fixed a ‘ladies’ sign to the door.
It was very obvious there were some ongoing ‘politics’ with this ward being used as an exit ward with the cardiac staff clearly disliking it. I noted some of them to be rude to the staff caring for me too. The staff caring for me were obviously also aware of this but remained professional. However unhappy the staff are about their ward being 'invaded' it is extremely unprofessional to make it obvious to patients and as a professional myself, I was extremely shocked to have experienced such an unacceptable situation that I hope has now improved.