"incompetent, unsympathetic and possibly..."

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

What I liked

I was seen quickly and the unit seemed fairly empty and clean enough.

What could be improved

The nurse who took over my care from the first nurse to deal with me (apparently a trainee, although they never identified themself as such and they never asked if i objected to being looked after by a trainee) was rude and unhelpful, did not look me in the face at all, nor introduce themself or explain what they were going to do. They did nothing to reassure me, spoke over me repeatedly and did not listen to my account of what had happened, nor tell me what was going on, nor what was going to happen until I insisted. I repeatedly said that I thought I had severed the tendon when I cut my thumb and was told nothing about the state of the injury and, crucially, no flex test was performed (which would have clearly shown that the tendon was severed, although this was in fact clear just from looking at it). When I finally shouted and insisted someone have the courtesy to tell me what was going on, I was told it was superficial in a scornful and unsympathetic tone. They manipulated the damaged thumb roughly without warning, explanation or offering any pain relief, causing me to cry out in pain on more than one occasion. When I called them on not communicating with me, no apology was forthcoming. When the trainee nurse apparently called them on causing me discomfort, they said they had 'to be cruel to be kind'. After I shouted, a Doctor arrived promptly and did a great job at stitching me, identifying themself and reassuring me on the way. Great, except they too failed to notice that the tendon was obviously severed. On the whole, I was left feeling ill-informed, unreassured, uncared for and untreated. A week later I am still in considerable pain and discomfort, have no use of the thumb in question and am now facing surgery to reattach a clearly severed tendon, that should have been addressed when I first attended A&E and that is much harder to do successfully on a partially healed injury. I am extremely unhappy with the 'care' that was provided.CleanlinessPatient careReassuringRudeSurgeryCommunicationConsiderateKindDoctors

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

We are extremely sorry that your experience of our accident and emergency services was so poor and we would encourage you to make a formal complaint so that we can investigate the events you describe properly. You can do this by contacting our complaints department on 01273 696955 (ask for the Complaints department) or email complaints@bsuh.nhs.uk. Your comments have been passed to the Matron responsible for this area.

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