"I spent a week in the Burden Unit. ..."

About: Frenchay Hospital

What I liked

I spent a week in the Burden Unit. I would never have thought that I could have actually enjoyed myself staying in hospital, let alone saying that Iwas sorry to leave; but here I am!

Everything about Burden was excellent. The accomodation, catering etc was good. The staff were great: efficient, helpful, friendly and cheerful. My fellow patients were great companions. I really enjoyed their company and am,seriously, going to miss them! Everyone was happy!

There is absolutely no question as to why it all works so well. It is because everyone is so happy and cheerful! Even when a patient was depressed through having had an attack, or feeling low because treatment was not appearing to make things better, he or she soon recovered enough to re-appear, dazed, pain-in the head, and so on. but still able to smile and join in with the others. In no time at all, it was as if nothing .....bad..... had taken place at all! Naturally, waiting and waiting to see one's doctor, specialist, consultant can be, is, terribly, terribly boring. However, the atmosphere in the unit is so pleasant, that any "discomfort" is reduced to a minimum!

The key to the success of that place is the manner in which everyone - patients, nurses, staff work together to make it run smoothly by creating such a happy, cheerful atmosphere, pulling to gether to make, each other feel "happy to be there"! Could not be better in a hospital environment.

This was my first time ever as an in patient, anywhere, and I (seriously) expected a St Swithens, ‘Carry on’....environment? Absolutely the opposite!

One of the patients intends to arrange a re-union sometime in the future. I gave him my telephone number and look forward to hearing from him. It would be super if some of the staff could come along too?

What could be improved

The last event of the day is dispensing medication, handing out nightcaps, at around 10 pm. After that the patients prepare for bed. Nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that all occupants of a particular bay, are "tucked up" by 10.30. My three companions were in the habit of going to bed early, and putting the light off at once. Fine. But I am not like that at all. I don't need more than five or six hours of sleep for a start! I get into bed around midnight, and read for some time. I invariably waken up with the light on, book in hand, and, more than once, squashed spectacles! If I do not do this, I do not sleep well! I asked the gang if they minded me leaving my lght on, to read. Each person assured me that it would cause no inconvenience; confirming this in the morning.

That evening, I had hardly opened my book, when the (new) nurse came in, stating, quite positively, that "I ought to settle down for the night,and put the light out ..." I diisagreed, saying that I would lie, wide awake, for hours., They went off, obviously annoyed, only to return twenty minutes later, saying that my companions would not be able to sleep and, suggesting that it might affect my "monitor"! Huh? The same thing happened the following night, even althought my specialist had written on m y "progress sheet" that it could be interesting if I was able to read until 1.00 am ... The nurse then suggested (almost demanded) that I "move to the recreation room". I refused. Shortly, their companion arrived, repeating the order, stressing that the others would not be able to sleep! Tell me a story. Again I refused. The nurse was not happy.

By that stage, neither was I. Eventually, I put the light off and lay awake for 1...2 .. hours! (The new nurses, next night, did not interfere at all.) it might be worthwhile, accomodating bay patients according to their sleeping habits - if at all possible? I'm afraid that have to say that I did not look forward to going to bed; nor wakening up!

Anything else?

Five gold stars!

Story from NHS Choices

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