"Noisy staff,unprofessional practice.."

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

Stayed on the Acute medical ward,for only 48 hours,thank goodness.when I arrived to be admitted left waiting on a chair for almost 2 hours,suffering from pneumonia. Got a bed, after seeing consultant,then taken to the ward,told it was quieter and I should sleep.i was left next to a room with all the lights on,it was midnight,I asked a nurse to pull the curtains as the light was on next to me. All night staff were chatting loudly,sounded like they were having a party!

One poor patient couldn't make themselves heard,calling every few minutes for a nurse...they were all at the nurses station down the corridor.

In the morning,woken by a bright light switched on by my beds to to obs then they walked away leaving it on, my intravenous tube kept kinking sending the alarm off all night, nurses took forever to come. Knew two patients medical history as staff talking so loud, even amongst each other standing away from the patients near to myself... One hca was even laughing as they forgot a patients coffee,it took 2 hours,they were joking about it amongst themselves.it was so unprofessional, and the fact that they were discussing patients confidential information by my bed was disgusting. I couldn't wait to get out of there....I decided to write this as I've just met a friend of mine who has also been on the same ward,they told me how awful it was....I'm not impressed that these so called professionals were so disrespectful...

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

Dear Ms Mabey

Thank you for your patience while waiting for our response and sorry to hear that your experience was so negative.

Given the nature of the issues you raised I passed your comments on to the Matron responsible for that area who has asked me to relay her reply to you.

“I apologise that you did not have a positive experience whilst on AMU. It is important that we know when things did not go well and I thank you for taking the time to outline your concerns, which will be shared with the team.

When patients are admitted via their GP to AMU we endeavour to allocate a bed as soon as possible on arrival but we are not aware of what time a patient is arriving and are unable to ‘hold’ a bed as we also accept admissions from the emergency department. During periods when demand for beds is high we need to triage patients who are most unwell and they will be allocated to the first available bed. Unfortunately this can lead to delays for the patients having to wait in the waiting room. However, please be assured that the nurse in charge is aware of all patients that are waiting and as part of a quality improvement plan we are reviewing the patient pathway when they are admitted via the GP to see if this can be improved for the patient.

We request feedback from patients each month as part of a trust wide audit to monitor if the noise levels overnight have been acceptable and the lights switched off at a suitable time. We are aware that we do not always meet the standard we aim to deliver due to the fact that we accept admissions 24/7, and often patients are acutely unwell requiring urgent treatment throughout the night. The trust provides each ward area with ear plugs and eye masks if the lights and noise are disturbing and these are available for all patients. I apologise if this was not offered to you and you had a disturbed night.

I would expect nurses to acknowledge that they are working a night shift and adjust the level of volume of their conversation accordingly to try as much as possible to promote an environment conducive to sleep/rest.

I do not find it acceptable for the nursing staff to be talking loudly and breach patient confidentiality and this will be highlighted to the team to be rectified immediately.

You have raised the concern of a patient calling out for a nurse and not being responded to – we aim to ensure that all patients are able to access their call bells at all times and that they are responded to in a timely manner. I am unable to comment on this individual case but it would appear that this patient may not have been able to reach their bell, or may have been confused and not realised they could ring a bell and therefore called out. I would still expect them to respond to the needs of the patient in a timely manner if they were able to hear them.

I apologise that you were woken abruptly by the lights being switched on full in the morning. The night staff have a compliment of work which they are required to complete before they finish their shift and need to ensure they have sufficient lighting to carry out these duties safely. However, I will ask them to consider that individual bedside lights could be used to avoid turning the lights on full very early in the morning.

It is upsetting to read that the nurses acted in such an unprofessional manner and that you have been left with such a poor impression of our unit and for this I apologise.

I will investigate as to which nurses were on duty during your admission and the perception of their behaviour and the impression they have left will be feedback to all those identified.”

We trust the in-depth response from Matron in some way relays how seriously we regard the feedback from our patients and service users.

If you have further need of our services in the future I hope you have a more positive experience.


Sue Mellor

Head of Patient Engagement