"The nursing system could be better run"

About: St Albans City Hospital

What could be improved

When I arrived for an operation at 11.0 o'clock in the morning I was just asked to go to the waiting room but I was not told that the op might involve a 6 hour wait!

I was assaigned to a bed which had a bell which was out of order. The sign read ' Bell out of order engineer informed' and this meant that I was unable to call a nurse. The nurses were all complaining that they were short staffed and made patients wait a long time when called because they were all busy doing something else. The lady in the bed next to me was in tears because she felt ignored. One old lady, walking to the toilet asked the nurse to help her with her Zimmer frame, only to be told by the nurse, 'I'm not trained to help you with that!'

After the operation I had a drip and during the night when I wanted to go to the loo I had to get up holding the drip to try to find a nurse. At 3.0 am there was no one on the ward, and the only person I could find was a male nurse on the men's ward. I had to take th drip with me and put it in the wash basin.

The next morning I was woken at 7.0 am and told to go to the day room as they needed the bed. When I asked for a cup of tea the nurse told me that I had had breakfast! It was only when the lady in the next bed said she had hd nothing to eat either that we were braught some tea and asked what we wanted. The nurse said. 'Well I'm catching that 8.10 bus now' and left.

Because my nose bled copiously when the packing was removed, I was finally allowed to stay till 11.30.

Anything else?

The wards are very short staffed. The nurses were not very happy!

It is unacceptable to not be able to call a nurse during the night.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from St Albans City Hospital

The Trust is sorry that you have received this unsatisfactory experience in one of its hospitals. Your comments have been sent to the appropriate members of staff for investigation and for action to be taken

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