"Nightmare"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

From arriving by ambulance at 13:00 to being transferred to Ward 4 at 00:40 the next day I received excellent treatment from doctors, nurses, porters and catering staff. The porter who took me to Ward 4 wrapped my shoulders in a blanket, 'because it gets draughty in the corridors'.

Then I arrived in a room full of surplus furniture, some covered in fabric. Hardly the best atmosphere for a pulmonary ward. The door was wide open, so were treated to the sounds of one patient having a heated discussion with her imaginary friend, the sound of the boiler in the Visitors' room and the incessant buzzing of the alarm for nurses. What concerned me more, especially given that all of us on ward had lung problems, were the open ended cardboard boxes from Rentokil labeled Do not Touch. I doubt whether the confused lady would understand this.

I was supposed to be receiving intravenous antibiotics, but when the nurse arrived at 07:30 the nurse discovered the catheter had come out. 'It's the end of the night shift, so the day staff will sort this.'

Throughout the morning when I asked about this, I was told they were waiting for a doctor, despite being told by 3 doctors the day before that I needed intravenous antibiotics. Eventually doctor arrived at 12:30 and confirmed this again, but nothing happened. At 217:45 I was issued oral antibiotics along with other medication for a nurse. The nurse took offence when I told them not to touch my medication and their colleague told me 'You're not being very polite.' With all the signs about good hygiene, I felt it was totally inappropriate to be working in such a state. The nurse said they hasn't had time to change, but my husband had seen the nurse chatting to a colleague. I pray I never have to go back there.

Story from NHS Choices

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