"Basil Fawlty care ie a Hospital that..."

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

What I liked

The excellent care I had from all the Ambulance staff from my transfers both to Hospital and back home

What could be improved

Drs and staff listening skills ,-I was taken to DMH on the 27th Nov 2010 with a seriously swollen (R) knee ,on admission I asked that my knee be drained of the huge amount of fluid on it, this was ignored and was not drained until 5 days later ( 140 mls of blood) ,during the 5 days I had twice daily Physio which was pure torture as my leg because of the amount of swelling would not bend and in my opinion caused more damage .Had the knee been drained, 1 Dr's wound have known that the joint was full of blood and not just fluid ,mobility and treatment would have been better and the damage to my knee would have been considerably less ,as it is I am permanently left with 1 knee larger than the other .

During my stay on one occasion I was isolated in my room because of staff hand over only thing was the buzzer was left out of reach and the bottle also out of reach, I had to ring switchboard on my mobile and ask to be put through to the nurse station and ask staff to come and attend to me.

The following day I was moved to another ward ,when I was admitted on the 27th because of a bed shortage I was sent to The Richardson Centre in Barnard Castle where I remained until the Friday ,some of my belongings including my tracksuit bottoms were left behind when I was transferred at short notice to DMH these were much later brought back to my house by a member of the Richardson Centre staff member .I was in 2 different wards at DMH by the time it came for me to be discharged my brand new pair of Nike trainers had been stolen,I have been shown a copy of a form that to this date I have no recollection of signing to free DMH of any responsibility of looking after my property ,a person confined to my bed half the time out of my head on painkillers ,I do not think this is fair ,your policy gives dishonest people leave to steal !

Anything else?

I was discharged home in Guantanamo Bay coloured pyjama bottoms and my slippers in the snow .Living on my own and on crutches without any aids to get to the toilet or into the shower ,I felt at serious risk .

Follow up treatments and appointments -Physio the Dept did not have the equipment to be able to carry out a simple treadmill test which would be videoed.This would have assessed my gait which as it turns out would have highlighted that my arches had fallen inwards causing stress on the ligaments in my knees, I only found this out after going to a private clinic and paying to have this assessment done and then fitted with shoe inserts to correct the defect ,this had an immediate effect . How many other people are being allowed to have their lives ruined because this simplet est and treatment is not being used at DMH.

Outpatient Appointments -This has gone backwards waiting times not being put up on a board to say that clinic is running late and by how many hours or any reasons why ,when staff approached about this "We are just to busy to do this " on the day in question staff did not have the "gumption" while they were waiting for patients to come forward to be shown down into clinic to take a pen and write on the white board of the delay time ,or make a short announcement making some explanation then patients will not become understandably upset with the delay ,its not rocket science !

When I asked the Consultant about the gait test he told me that he did not believe in it as he is an foot and ankle specialist ! .As an ex charge nurse this visit was appalling ,12 days of hell ,no wonder this Hospital is in the top ten of the worst in the country.What is your Chairman doing not a lot by the looks of things ,whole place needs a good shake up.

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback from your visit to Darlington Memorial Hospital in 2011. Unfortunately, at the time you shared your feedback, we were unable to respond. If you would like to discuss your previous comments please contact us. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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