"An overall positive experience tainted by..."

About: Barnet Hospital

What I liked

I spent 5 days on Aspen Ward after a Total Hip Replacement. The ward was clean and tidy and most of the staff were cheerful and hard working. The physio's that visited me were excellent! A member of staff arranged to have the equipment I needed ready for my Husband to collect and take home, they even went on a hunt for my lost slippers!!!! Other physio's were friendly and helpful and when on the first couple of days post op I was unable to do as much as I had hoped due to some severe sickness, they kept coming back to help and encourage me.

Staff were also very good about letting my husband stay a little over time on my first day as my operation had been fairly late and I didn't get back to the ward until quite late.

What could be improved

The staff were VERY busy and the ward itself appeared to be very understaffed. Some of them were very vocal regarding how overworked they were (this included HCA's as well as Nursing staff) and how other members of staff were not pulling their weight which I felt a little unprofessional. We all know that cuts have severely effected staffing but I personally felt it made me very unwilling to ask for help with things that I needed because I knew they were so busy. I am 48 years old and was able to do some things for myself, someone older may not have been so lucky. I also had visitors that were able to do things for me.

On my second day post op I was moved to a bay where there were 5 other women awaiting surgery for that day. At the time I was still unable to walk to the bathroom and felt that it was particularly undignified having to use a commode when the other people and their relatives/friends could hear everything! I was still suffering from sickness and eventually asked to have my curtains drawn as it felt particularly embarrassing having people looking at me.

Anything else?

Having commented previously on the unprofessional attitude of some staff I now have to say that this was not the case with all the staff. One particular Staff Nurse that was on Night's during my stay was absolutely lovely. They did everything they could to make me comfortable and never made me feel like I was asking too much. Unfortunately I do not remember their name as I would love to thank her!

Finally, I must comment on one of the Health Care Assistants whom I think was just fantastic! Nothing was too much trouble! A cup of tea at 11.00pm at night, accompanying me to the bathroom at 3.00am or a sandwich appearing as if by magic at midnight when I finally felt hungry on day 3 (after not eating at all for almost 4 days!) and always delivered with a smile!!! I even overheard them telling someone else to go about their work with a smile because it helped the patients! I also overheard them speaking to a very difficult dementia patient with kindness and patience, something not everybody did as I overheard often! If there had been more staff like this on the ward it would have been a much better place! If my sincere thanks could be passed on I would be very grateful.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Barnet Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to let us know of your experience. We will ensure your thanks are conveyed to the team and also take on board the comments regarding the areas where we need to make improvements.

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