"Huge thanks to Mary Seacole north team,..."

About: The Whittington Hospital

What I liked

I was taken to The Whittington A&E by a fab paramedic team, after I collapsed at home with breathing difficulties. I didn't manage to get the name of the lady who dealt with me in the ambulance, & who came back to A&E to see if I did in fact have a PE (which she correctly diagnosed on the way!) I cannot begin to show my appreciation for all the staff I dealt with during my 4 days on the Mary Seacole North Ward, as well as the nurse in A&E for handling my minor needle 'issues' so well!

Lots of people to mention, so I'll try to keep it brief. Fantastic team of nurses on the night shift when I came in who helped me to be as comfortable as possible & keep my mind off what was going on. Its a very busy ward at times & they always had time for each patient, even when faced with a barrage of abuse & insults. Day-side team - again absolutely brilliant; there's not much to do when you're in hospital so even 5 mins of chatting makes all the difference!

I also had a VQ scan to diagnose any blood clots, and would like to say a special thanks to the person who was a star at calming me down, explaining everything clearly & letting me see my scanned lungs. Also a dab hand at finding a vein, as mine are very uncooperative!

Finally a big thanks to the doctors plus the others whos names I didn't get, for taking time to explain everything & answer any questions I had. Also to the nurse who sorted out my MRI - cant thank you enough, & the pharmacist for explaining all about Warfarin; it was a lot to take in, but you had a way of making me feel at ease & not rushed.

Can't thank you all enough, & this experience has opened my eyes to how lucky we are with having a service like the NHS.

What could be improved

The food! I'm not a fussy eater, but this really was terrible, and when you have nothing else to do, it becomes a huge part of your stay. Just a cup of tea offered before the cereal comes around would be a small start. Also, no sandwiches were on offer for lunch, only hot dinners. The hot dinners that I did try were either tasteless, under/over cooked, or very salty. Yuck. All I desperately craved was fruit and very cold water, as it was exceptionally hot and dry in my room. It seems cold water seems to be very difficult to obtain!

The hot drinks lady was a bit slapdash with her delivery, knocking water over my table & bed & only half-attempting to mop up. She was also a bit too keen to take away hot drinks before they were finished...not a good idea to mess with a distressed sick woman's hot chocolate, people!!

Anything else?

I had to watch several patients abuse the staff; one in particular was clearly abusing the NHS system, feigning illness & pulling staff away from clearly very sick individuals for trivial requests, such as finding a book in her bag, to using the phone. It disgusts me that people think they can do this, and yet she was met with the same care & attention I was, even when it was clear there was nothing wrong with her!

On a separate occasion, nurses were repeatedly hit by a patient, and another shouted all sorts of profanities and abuse to nurses who were just trying to make the patient more comfortable (a mean feat)

All I can say is the nurses & doctors that I saw during my stay have the patience of a saint - keep doing what you're doing, I can't thank you all enough!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Whittington Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. Apologies that this was not responded to before, however the PALS and Complaints Department have only recently taken on responding to NHS Choices feedback.

I am glad that your experience was so positive and appreciate you taking the time to write. I am sorry that the food was not up to your expectations. The Catering Team are consistently working to improve the standard of food and I hope that should you ever need to return to the hospital this aspect of your experience will be more postive.

Thank you again

Thanks very much.

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