About: Stafford Hospital

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My 3 year old son and I were treated with a complete lack of respect from admission to discharge. I received a phone call to inform me that my son's operation was to be the following day. Due to this I did not receive any information prior to admission but was told on the phone that I did not need to bring anything with us.

I attended with my son at around 11am and on admission to the Shugborough Ward I was was shown around by the nurse in charge of my son's care. I was asked if I had brought anything with me, I explained that I had not (other than a few toys) as I had been told I didn't need to. I was then asked if anyone was coming down later. I told the nurse that my husband was and I could then have been told if anything needed to be brought, but was not told of anything.

A while later, after my husband arrived the surgeon came to explain what he was going to do during the operation. The same nurse then asked if my son had pyjamas to wear. Because he did not he was given a very large theatre gown. He became distraught at this being put on. He was so upset that I had to carry him to theatre.

At theatre he was still exteremely upset, so much so that the several staff present gave me a stool to sit on and stood back while I was told to restrain my distraught son and I had to give him gas to make him sleep, whilst all of the staff watched. One member of staff even made fun of my son and ridiculed him. As soon as he was asleep he was quickly dragged from my arms and I was ushered out without even being given the chance to give him a kiss. This was worse because he was not given a pre med, which I believe should have been given orally prior to going to theatre.

I went to see him as he was woken up to hear him screaming and shouting for his Mum. He was still just as distraught and had to be further restrained, by me, whilst his canular was dressed to prevent it from being removed.

Anything else?

Sometime later the same nurse came to take his canular out prior to discharge, three and a half hours after being back on the ward, this could surely have been taken out sooner. Whilst doing this a male nurse came to watch and made sarcastic comments whilst the nurse did this.

In addition, it was near impossible to get on or off the ward without other members of staff opening the door, the reception staff failed to open the door for us on every occasion, and I saw the same for other visitors / patients. This was not because the reception staff were busy, we saw that they were not. The ward was in fact very quiet with very few patients.

The section of the ward we were in had 6 beds and we were the only ones in there. The ward itself was run down with holes in the walls where switches have been changed, the beds were extremely old and in poor condition and two out of three of the strip lights were not working, which was where we were.

The nurse in charge of my sons care did not at any point introduce herself, I have no idea what her name was.

The reception staff had no interest and made us feel like we were an inconvenience.

The whole experience was appaling. If hospital treatment is required for any member of my family again I will go elsewhere.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Stafford Hospital

We are very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with the way that both you and your son were treated on your recent visit to the Children’s Ward, and would like to apologise for this.

We take any concerns from our patients and their families seriously and try to learn from these to improve our services. I have therefore forwarded your comments to the Matron of the ward to feedback to staff.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further. Please do not hesitate to either call (on 01785 230811) or visit our Patient Services and Advice Centre which is based in the main reception at Stafford Hospital.

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