"Poor experiences of the urology ward"

About: Southmead Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

It is now nearly 4 months since I had a procedure for the removal of a growth in my bladder and stayed as an inpatient on the Urology Ward at Southmead Hospital.

Physically the pain has gone and my bladder control is nearly back to normal.

Psychologically my experience on this ward has destroyed my confidence in the NHS. I believe it is down to this experience that I get bouts of acute depression, my level of self worth has taken a severe knock, I am unable to sleep more that an hour or so each night and I dread the thought that it might be necessary for me to stay as an in patient on this ward again.

I was admitted to Southmead Hospital urology U ward The reason for admission was to have a Transurethal resection of bladder tumour. The pre- op procedure and the actual operation was good and successfully carried out.On arrival at U ward the nursing care and pain control went downhill.

The ward was staffed by nurses wearing a green uniform and others wearing a white coat, my care was entrusted to two of the latter nursing staff. One of the nurses seemed preoccupied with receiving telephone calls from a family member than involving themselves with patient care. Once when my Blood sugar levels dropped to 2.1 and started going into a "Hypo" the nurse was unsure what to do and had to be advised by of all people the canteen trolley lady. Another time I was having my blood pressure taken when they were told a family member was on the phone, they left me attached to the blood pressure monitor until another nurse came looking for it and released me 20 mins later.

The other nurse was involved with managing my bladder catheter and saline drip. I was in terrible pain every time I emptied my bladder through the catheter so I asked if it was possible to be given a pain killer. The first time my request was ignored but with some persistence I was eventually given two paracetamol which were totally ineffective and I was left to suffer the pain.

When the catheter was removed, my bladder control was poor and some bleeding still occurred, I was left on a sheet soaked in Blood and urine for nearly 20 mins before they returned.

I was then given a sachet of hair shampoo, two clean towels and a clean gown and told to go to the bathroom to clean myself up. I was left there unsupervised for nearly an hour whilst attempting to make myself clean again.

Because my bladder control was still giving me problems I asked if I could have a urine bottle, I was told none were available and to go down the corridor and use the toilet. To avoid soiling the corridor I had to wrap a towel around myself to contain the dripping blood and urine.

It is my opinion in view of these occurrences that there is a need to review the Ward Management and the supervision of nursing staff. In my opinion there was no compassion, consideration of dignity nor of the patient’s human rights shown by the two nurses into whose care I was entrusted.

The emergency buzzer that should have been by my bed was not available; I didn’t see a nursing presence on the ward during the day time apart from meal times and medicine rounds. I felt like neither the Doctors nor the nurses showed any particular interest in me and I got the impression that patients were not listened to.

During my stay in the hospital I managed about 1 hours sleep per night, I was kept awake for most of the night by the laughter and noise by some of the night staff in the room across the corridor from the ward.

When I saw the consultant as an outpatient the following month I was told I would probably have to come back again for the same operation

I have to see the consultant again in mid March and I assume he will suggest my coming back in for the same procedure again because the pathology lab failed to make a full diagnosis of the type of cancer from my last pathology sample sent to them.

I don't think I could go through this trauma again and feel I would be better off out of it, If I don't have the courage to end it all myself then my thoughts go to the Swiss clinic where I will be helped. I have refused to agree to readmission owing to the physical and psychological trauma of the way I was treated last time. If I can be referred to another hospital where patient feedback is shown to be more caring then and only then will I reconsider.

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