"I have been visiting, my elderly, ..."

What could be improved

I have been visiting, my elderly, incredible, amazing one-in-a-million friend who has been staying at Heatherwood now for a number of weeks to recover from a stroke. On most of my previous visits, the nursing staff had been very attentive with patients, dashing around in response to the automated call system which operates when patients push a button from their bed. The staffing levels are low, but I felt they were doing the best they could. I have just come back from visiting my friend (Sat 3rd July, evening), and was disgusted by the lack of care and compassion shown by the nurses in charge on this occasion. They had actually turned off the patient call system so that patients were pushing their buttons for attention, not knowing that the nurses weren't listening. The patients in this ward are all very ill and weak, and most are not mobile, so cannot get out of bed to get a nurse's attention if they need help. I was so upset when I got home to think that my friend was receiving so little human compassion, particularly when she is so incapacitated and entirely dependent on care from the staff for something as simple as moving from her back to her side. When I was standing in the corridor, a patient called me for help to get a nurse, she had been pushing her button, but no-one had come, so I went to find who seemed to be the head nurse at the desk, and she was eating a choc-ice. It made me feel almost like I should wander around everyone in the wards asking if they were alright, or needed anything, like I should fill in what the nurses weren't doing. These very weak patients deserve to be treated with more respect and care. The nurses need to be proactive in checking their patients are alright, and as a very minimum, be reactive when a patient calls for their help.I hope that there's soon a rotation of staff, so that my friend can receive the care she deserves. Perhaps the lesson to be learnt is that the hospital should do more spot-checks on service levels

Story from NHS Choices

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