"The A&E/admissions staff were ..."

About: Ealing Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked The A&E/admissions staff were excellent. Even though they were working under a large amount of pressure, they were attentive, knowledgeable and sympathetic. This was the only point of my stay at which my expectations were managed, I was kept regularly updated about what to expect and how long I was likely to be kept waiting by each member of staff. What could be improved? I was placed on the Mary Seacole ward, where I spent eight days. The staff were clearly struggling to keep on top of their workloads under very difficult circumstances and high occupancy. As the ward is psychiatric, the needs and demands of the patients was diverse. Unfortunately, this meant that patients who tended to be quieter and more lucid were frequently overlooked. For example, I did not get to eat anything until my second full day on the ward, as ALL queries to nurses and ward staff were met with one of two responses "not right now, I'll get to it later" or "we can only deal with that after handover." Something as fundamental as meal times and procedures should be made clear to all patients, and take a matter of seconds to explain. Smokers were never taken for cigarette breaks on time, often being made to wait for up to 8 hours to be escorted. This resulted in a number of aggressive or violent outbursts from women who were only reacting naturally to a frustrating situation in an already stressful environment. Additionally, there was no evidence of attempts to aid smoking cessation. The ratio of staff time spent of bureauocracy to staff time spent on actual patient care seemed to be about 4:1. Had I received a fraction of the attention and care of the average medication sheet, I'd be far further along the road to recovery now. There was little evidence of joined-up working and communication between doctors and nurses on the ward. Patients (including myself) were incorrectly written up as discharged, notified of their appointment times which would then never be kept with no attempt to keep the patient updated of delays or when they could expect to be seen. The environment as a whole was distressing, exhausting, confusing and frightening at times. Overall it was not conducive to recovery from any psychiatric condition, it simply doesn't have the resources it needs. Anything else? .

Story from NHS Choices

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