"Some of the front line nurses ..."

About: Southampton General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Some of the front line nurses were particularly kind and caring to all patients despite being very over stretched and understaffed. The ward was clean. Majors (in A and E) were very well informed and attentive.

What could be improved

The food was often very late (3pm for lunch, 8pm for dinner) and when it came it wasn't right and low quality.

Very low staffing levels meant call bells were not answered within 45mins and the elderly confused patients were not adequately attended to and left to scream most of the day and night to the distress of the other patients and visitors.

The drug rounds were very pressured with constant interruptions of the nurse meaning that the controlled painkiller drugs were often hrs late as these are done after the main round had finished.

On 3 occasions I was asked to go from my bed and discharge before I had any care plan or treatment as they were so desperate for my bed. This is an age related policy as no one over 60 was asked to do this even if simply waiting for a scan and lower clinical need. The emotional blackmail and frankly bullying tactics used by bed managers and putting medical staff in the position of bullying sick patients off beds in the night (10pm on one occasion) is appalling. even on the last day was too ill to leave with a temperature in the morning but when the bed manager came i was suddenly well enough for home. No care plan, no OT, no physio. After a wk of this dire treatment decided to go but couldnt go to discharge lounge which lead to more bullying from bed manager. Disgusted that anyone would treat a chronically and clearly acutely sick person this way.

There needs to be a way chronically sick and disabled younger adults can be cared for well, with appropriate care, treatment and rehabilitation and it seems there is no way of doing this at Southampton General.

Finally, the pharmacy took 26hrs to bring up medication. Many patients having to come back to the hospital a day after discharge to collect medication.

A picture of complete chaos.

Anything else?

Outpatients appointments for Rheumatology to see a consultant with a severe progressive life threatening condition is 9 MONTHS. All appointments for me are having to be overbooked.

There needs to be a way that specialties can communicate and discuss patients options and treatment with complex immune cases without having to put a patient through the above experiences.

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Thank you for this detailed comment, Penfold. We are sorry to hear of your problems because we have very high standards for patient care.

There isn't room here to respond to everything, and we would really like to know more about where and when you were treated. We can however say that it is definitely not our policy to discriminate on age. We have a constant flow of new patients and try to discharge before 11am where possible. We have recently put a new catering system in place which is taking time to bed in.

However for a full response and to allow us to look into the matter in more detail, we would strongly urge you to get in touch with us via our Patient Advice and Liaison team on pals@suht.swest.nhs.uk or 023 8079 8498.

In the meantime your comments have been drawn to the attention of our Emergency Medicine, Specialist Medicine, Catering and Pharmacy departments and to the Patient Experience lead.

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