"Shocked at treatment of elderly patient in East Surrey A&E"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a friend),

I accompanied a sick friend of mine to hospital tonight. She was admitted into East Surrey A & E ward.

Whilst waiting there, I was horrified to observe what I can only call uncaring behaviour from a staff member. There was an elderly lady in a bed who called for the nurse a few times, when the nurse went over the lady was sitting upright in the trolley bed.

The nurse pushed her back down and told her to lie down. The lady didn't want to lie flat down and told the nurse she needed the toilet. She asked for a stick so she could go there herself. The nurse walked away and said she would help her in a minute. The nurse then proceeded to walk to the photocopier and photocopied about 25 pages of something. I observed the lady patient in some discomfort.

The nurse then turned and walked away (this was around 10 mins since the lady asked to go to the toilet) and I was so horrified that I took the lady to the toilet myself. She had started to soil herself and I had to help her clean up.

It was quite obvious to the other nursing staff what I was doing, as it took a few minutes to help the lady there, yet not once did any nurse help. When the lady had been and we had cleaned up, a nurse who had just come on duty came to the toilet, as she recognised the patient's voice and didn't recognise my voice as a nurse. Whilst this elderly lady was confused, she was by no means unaware of the humiliating situation she was in.

I am not only disgusted by the behaviour of the nurse whom she asked in the first place, but it also shows how they have placed an elderly person in a vulnerable position. If I had been a thief, gerontophile or murderer, no one would have noticed or cared.

There was a poster in the ward saying "We're never too busy to care" - what an absolute joke.

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