"I arrived in A & E at ..."

About: Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent

(as the patient),

What could be improved

I arrived in A & E at 6.15 pm, sent by my GP in response to a call from the hospital that an earlier blood test had revealed a very high potassium level. At the time I was suffering from rather bad diarrhoea.

I was admitted to an A & E isolation room at 9.30pm, and the next day transferred to E.A.U. where my general care and well being were dreadful. Whilst in that unit ( a further three days) the nursing staff (with three exceptions), either patronised me or ignored me. In the unit, I was in a single room, and on several occasions I was totally ignored at meal times , and more than once had to ask if I could have some food, which when it finally arrived, was barely warm and congealed. I was rarely offered a drink, and I was given the impression that I was an inconvenient nuisance. My concern over certain aspects of my medication were ignored.

Whilst in this room, I was visited by a male patient who claimed to know me, and closed the door behind him as he came in. It was a very frightening experience. Eventually, I managed to attract the attention of the nurses, who came and removed him. Later that day, the same thing happened again, as I had dozed off, and awoke to find him in again with the door closed, and he came and sat on my bed at which I became extremely agitated. After some time, the nurse finally got him out, paying very little heed to my distress, as I was distraught and shaking by this time, sufficient to cause me to have to use my angina spray.

As a retired State Registered Nurse, it pains me to say this, but the nursing staff, apart from the three mentioned earlier, seemed to spend most of the time sitting at computer terminals or chatting around the nursing station, and having little time to attend to the patients needs. At night, there appeared to be little effort made to keep a reasonably quiet environment which made sleep very difficult.

Anything else?

I have no complaint about the way I was treated by the doctors, in fact my consultant treated me, a 73 year old patient, with respect and consideration in a very non-patronising way.

However, I look back with dreadful memories of an awful experience, and now fear any occasion which might arise necessitating having to go into hospital again.

I was in hospital for four days. It felt like four weeks, and that was not due to my condition, but my treatment.

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Response from Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent

We are sorry that the standard of treatment you received at Queen's Hospital was not satisfactory. Please contact our PALS and Complaints office on 01283 511511 ext 3112, to enable us to investigate your concerns and address the issues you have raised.

Please be assured that the Trust endeavours to ensure that lessons are learnt from complaints to ensure that other patients do not experience similar issues in the future.