"A deeply unpleasant and frightening..."

About: Cheltenham General Hospital

What could be improved

Nursing care - very hit and miss. I was not offered any help in washing or taking a bath so after 8 days I took myself to a bathroom. I fell in the bath and could not get up. Unable to reach the emergency button, I shouted for help and nobody responded for 15 minutes. Eventually I managed to press the Help button and a nurse came after 10 minutes. As the door was locked she rebuked me for locking it. ( Male patients wandering about, so naturally I locked it). IThere is no method of opening door from outside so I had to get myself up and out, very distressing and difficult. The nurse didn't even escort me back to my bed.

I was very ill, doped up with morphine after my surgery and often confused for the first few days. Nurses did nothing to reassure me and one called me a lazy cow when I couldn't get out of bed in time when I had diarrhoea. Their solution - to stick down my stoma bag with duct tape without my consent.

After 10 days of neglect, I left the hospital without being discharged. By this time I had cold sores all over my lips, an ulcerated mouth ( no oral care offered - even a sponge and some water to wet my mouth would have helped), an infected wound, a chest infection and feeling that if i stayed there, I would never get better. The ward is dirty. I was asked to keep samples of bowel contents but these were left around for days in the loo. No one kept me properly informed about my condition and on one occasion I was told by a nurse to drink copious amounts of cold water To get my bowel working. The doctor told me that this was the last thing I should do and gave me advice which worked.

Some of the nurses talk disparagingly about patients in their care loudly enough to be heard and complain about them loudly.

All in all a deeply distressing and frightening experience.

Anything else?

The most caring and considerate member of staff was the man who dispensed drinks and food.

Why does the Sister in charge not make it her business to come and speak to the patients and keep them informed?

I have no complaint to make about the doctors. They are let down by the poor standards on the ward.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››