"From the moment I arrived at the..."

About: Campus for Ageing and Vitality

What I liked

From the moment I arrived at the hospital on the day of my operation I was greeted by the nurse in charge of the ward and made to feel at ease. I was introduced to all the staff who would be involved in my care and surgery during my stay. I had arrived at 8 am but was told that my operation would be carried out about 3 pm, so you can imagine how frustating it can be sitting around all that time. The staff kept me up to date with everything and I was told that I might get operated on before 3 pm. At 1:50 pm I was wheeled into surgery and just over 2 hours later surgery was complete and I was starving. I was taken onto ward 22 where all the staff involved in this ward were absolutely marvellous. Very friendly, cheerfull and always on hand to take care of your needs. After only having been out of surgery for about an hour, the only thing I wanted to do was get out of bed and walk around to see how successfull the surgery had been. That was 1 week ago and I am completely pain free(apart from the scar from op). All the staff from the nurses, consultants, surgeons and the people who knock you out(sorry can't spell that word it begins with A) they were all brilliant.

What could be improved

Someone else has already mentioned the use of agency staff at weekends, but they are also used on nights as well. I found that they were not all that interested in patient care during their shift. Of the 3 that were on duty that night 2 of them sat at the nurses station for most of the night( I know because I was kept awake all night by one patient who done nothing but moan all night long). On one ocassion I had to go to the toilet and one patient had just gone in front of me and he had been in for about 40 mins. I informed the night staff who told me to use the ladies for the moment and they would check up on the other patient. About 30 mins later the patient came out and went back to his bed. I let him know that I had informed the nurses of how long he had been in and he said that at no time did they come to see if he was alright. Proper full time nurses instead of agency staff should be used at all times

Anything else?

While waiting to go for my surgery I had the misfortune of hearing conversations between nurses and between patients and consultants regarding operations that were not or had not gone too well. The patient who was undergoing surgery before mine was having complications and the nurses were whispering these facts to each other, but they were not whispering too quietly as I heard evry word they had said. This is not too comforting to hear as I was to be operated on next by the same surgeon. Another patient who had his operation a few weeks prior to mine was brought into the ward to discuss his operation that had not gone too well either. Rather than take him aside into an office or treatment area to speak to him, they just sat him on a bed and pulled the curtains around. He was quizzed by 2 consultants who didn't seem to care about patient confidentiality. If things like this need to be discussed surely they should be done in private and not in front of other patients who are waiting for similar operations.

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Response from Campus for Ageing and Vitality

Thank you for your positive comments following your recent admission to Neurosciences; we are very pleased that you found the team supportive throughout and have shared your positive comments with them, which are acknowledged and very much appreciated.

We acknowledge your comment about agency nurses, and wish to assure you that the Trust only uses agency nurses in exceptional circumstances, although we do have access to our own “nurse bank” which provides staff where gaps in usual staffing levels are identified. It is likely that it was “Bank Nurses”, who are employed directly by the Trust, that you refer to. It is expected that their standards are consistent with those of the Trust’s permanent staff. Your comments regarding their conduct are appreciated and we will thoroughly investigate the issues you raise, in order to bring about improvements and address the shortcomings that you identified.

The Trust has a responsibility to ensure patient confidentiality, and takes this responsibility very seriously, and I am sorry to learn of your own experience. Staff have been reminded of the importance of this issue and asked to take the necessary steps to ensure patient confidentiality at all times. The Neurosciences Directorate are due to move into state of the art facilities at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in the next few weeks which will afford greater privacy for all consultations.

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us as we greatly appreciate your feedback.

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