"Better patient care and nursing leadership needed"

About: Croydon University Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My wife was admitted to Mayday Hospital in Croydon for major surgery. The ward to which she was admitted to following her operation subsequently forgot to provide her with any food.

I consider that this in itself was a significant failure in ward practice, not least because my wife had not eaten since the previous day as instructed but also because I think the importance of nutrition in supporting recovery from any major operation.

However, it is the response of the senior nurse on duty to this situation which has prompted me to issue a formal complaint to the NHS trust concerned, and to post this comment.

Initially, I felt the member of staff did not appear to want to engage me in conversation. I was then offered three explanations as to why my wife had not been provided with a meal: firstly, I was told because the team were very busy; secondly, because of the fact that my wife had not been present on the ward that morning when menu cards had been offered to patients; thirdly, because of the fact that providing patients with food was not the responsibility of the nursing team but that of a private sector company. It was then suggested to me that it would be helpful if I made a complaint as this might help resolve the situation.

My wife’s operation took place at approximately 11am. She was then admitted to a recovery ward and transferred to her ward in the early afternoon. By the time I raised the issue of the lack of food (approximately 7pm), she had been present on the ward for several hours.

I am concerned and upset that this situation has been allowed to happen. I am also angry as I found there to be a lack of nursing leadership on the ward. This was evidential to me by the response to the concerns I raised above and by the apparent lack of concern I felt there was for the patient experience. I believe getting the basics right on issues like this are so important to the patient experience.

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