"My time in Manchester Royal Infirmary"

About: Manchester Royal Infirmary

(as the patient),

I was admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary after a confusing strand of referrals from consultants all over the country. I was in for just over a month some time ago for a mystery abdominal pain I have suffered for years. I was seventeen at the time and live in the very far north of Scotland, so I was a very long way away from home.

During my stay, I witnessed many things which I would consider appauling. My pain was severe enough to require regular doses of Morphine, my Consultant had written on my chart that I could have this administered every 2 hours if required. When I pressed my bedside buzzer, I would often wait up to 45 minutes for a nurse to come and answer. After my buzzer was answered, I then had to wait (on a daily basis, not just a one time occasion) in agony anything from an hour up to six hours before they came back with my Morphine. Of course, during this time, I would press the buzzer again to remind them I had asked for a painkiller, but I was told that two nurses have to be present when administering Morphine, which I could understand if it was an injection... but it was an oral liquid medicine. I have been in a lot of hospitals in my nineteen years and never, ever seen oral Morphine as a controlled drug.

I later found out that the Central Manchester NHS Trust have a policy on painkillers, no matter how weak or strong, must be given to patients within fifteen minutes of request.

I also wear a painkiller patch on my skin, which needs to be changed every three days and being a controlled drug, that also has to be changed by two nurses. Due to my GP's instructions, I had become accustom to changing my patch at night, which I had told the staff on admission. However, I did not expect to have to wait until one or two in the morning to have my patch changed.

Also, they would ask me to leave urine samples in the toilet, and to buzz them when I had done and they would go and collect them. One time, unbeknown to me, one of my samples had been left in the toilet overnight.

There was a confused elederly patient in the next door bed to me... I felt the staff were very impatient and rude to her. There was one occasion, where this particular lady's curtains were closed because her Doctor had come to see her. However, this did not stop one of the domestic staff going behind the curtains, unannounced, to collect the empty teacup from earlier.

I felt the food was diabolical, it was often served cold. I found the parts of the ward I saw filthy, especially the communal bathrooms in the ward. The rest of the hospital seemed quite clean though.

After there had been an outbreak of the norovirus on the ward, I was then moved into a sideward, and was much more comfortable. A member of staff came into my room one night at 8pm and told me to go into the day room because they had to do a deep clean because of the norovirus, which I understood. But they did not tell me I would also need to remove all my belongings from the room and so they started packing them up themselves, which I would have been quite happy to do. Being a seventeen year old girl, I didn't want a strange man going through my things.

I asked them how long they would be, and they answered "30/40 minutes" I was in there until half past midnight, and there was another patient in the dayroom with me from the nextdoor sideward with the same problem. While I was in the dayroom, my heart rate went extremely high, so they wanted to do an ECG, which wasn't done until half past one in the morning. I found the nurse extremely rude, and she stripped me to the waist because she could not get a proper reading. I felt very uncomfortable and exposed.

After this, I had had enough and went to PALS. After I had made my complaint, the Sister and The Matron of the ward came to see me, and were very nice. They promised me an improvement and asked me to keep a diary, which I did. There was a slight improvement, but nothing worth writing about. However, the Sister was extremely kind to me and did everything she could for me.

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Response from Manchester Royal Infirmary

Thank you for your feedback. We were very concerned to read your comments and we are sorry that your experience was not positive. We would like the opportunity to investigate the issues you have raised more fully and would be grateful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALs) on 0161 276 8686 or by emailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

NHS Highland has been reviewing all feedback and responses that have been posted on Patient Opinion. I note this responses relates to Manchester Royal Infirmary but that the patient was from the "far north of Scotland".

I dont know if there is anything any NHS Highland or patient/families GP could have done anything/more to help /support but we would be keen to know more. It's hard enough being ill and in hospital but when you are far away from home it is very distressing. If you would like to tell me more please get in touch maimie.thompson@nhs.net


Maimie Thompson

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