"I felt neglected whilst on the ward"

About: Derriford Hospital / Accident and emergency Derriford Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I was taken into A & E with concussion. They were good there but in the ward I thought the attitude was bad. I needed the toilet, and was told it was in the corridor, I said I could not stand up or even put pressure on my feet, I was told I could. My alarm was hooked over my trolley table and every time the nurse came to me to do tests she pushed it out of the way, I could not send for help. There was a dirty glass half full of water on that trolley, it was out of reach. I was not offered one hot drink or any clean water from ten at night until the day shift came on, they were good, washed me, gave me a hot drink, asked if I wanted breakfast.

I asked for home situation to be taken into account before discharge because my husband has serious mobility problems, and difficulty using his hands. It felt like nobody took any notice of what I said, I was discharged into the care of a man who was awaiting spinal surgery.

MY GP is a caring and competent doctor, she was shocked I had not had a brain scan, so arranged one, it turned out I had a mini stroke, yet a nurse had told me I could walk, and deal with my own toilet needs. I never saw the person in charge of the ward.

To put it bluntly, when I insisted on a commode when I had finished she said "get back into bed then" I could not move myself. She manhandled me, and I told her my bum should be wiped first. She gave me two little bits of tissue, I had to do it myself, she did not clean my hands till I told her they were stained with you know what, and could cause hospital infection.

It was fifteen months before I was well enough to report it, it turns out the time limit to report it locally is twelve months. I couldn't, I was not well enough.

My husband has needed occasional hospital care including surgery for over 40 years. In my opinion some wards are very good, some are a disgrace.

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