"The hospital needs to improve its night care..."

About: Leicester General Hospital

What I liked

I was admitted to the Urology ward on Ward 26 after a major abdominal surgery related to my gender reassignment programme as I am Transgender. This was supposedly the NHS's way of preserving my dignity and respecting my gender identity.

For the most part I was very pleased with the pre-admittance nurse who took the time to talk with me and reassure me before my surgery, she treated with a lot of dignity, kindness and respect as did the Urology day staff overall. I felt anxious being in hospital as I have had bad experiences with medical staff before, but in the first 2 days after surgery I was actually overwhelmed at how caring and sensitive the staff who had been treating me were.

I can not thank these nurses enough for their professionalism, respect and kindness which they showed me during this time.

It is therefore a great shame that despite their hard work and compassion I was treated badly by the night staff and therefore am in the midst of formulating a written formal complaint.

The matron and ward manager have both apologised, but the matter needs urgent investigation if it is to be prevented from happening again for all patients best interests, regardless of their medical histories.

In regards to treating transgender patients the NHS remains rigid and rather backwards , and more needs to be done to ensure that trans patients feel safe in hospitals,and receive the care they deserve just as all other patients do.

What could be improved

My second night on ward 26 was hell. Once the day staff had left 2 night nurses began their shift. They were rude to the patients, belligerent and moaned the whole time; about work loads, other staff they were unhappy with,and how they did not want any more patients being admitted onto the ward.

If I were to be compassionate towards them I would indeed have to remark that there seemed like too many patients for just the 2 of them to properly care for, especially as most of these were elderly and seemed to have complex care needs.

I was awoken however by other patients in the night to hear these 2 nurses making cruel, degrading and ignorant jokes and comments about myself and the other patients, as they went through the notes with the on call Dr. The nurses station was across from my bed and I therefore heard much of their mutterings and comments.

I will not quote what was said by them but they made trans-phobic remarks along with ignorant comments about my appearance and voice, to which all 3 staff had a jolly laugh about.

I was very distressed to hear these remarks and when my hand IV needle came out I felt completely alone and vulnerable. I spent much time in the toilet feeling sick, dizzy and distressed partly from feeling physical pain as much as feeling stressed and upset.

I was not checked on at all throughout the night, despite having developed a high temp the night before and needing antibiotics. They did not give me my antibiotics in the morning with my pain killers either, nor notice my IV had come out.

I did not see a nurse to help me until around 11.45am, despite seeing my Dr at 8.30am who said I needed another scan. She had spoken to the ward manager after seeing me so distressed. She agreed that I could go home earlier if my scan was clear as I could not bare to be in hospital at that point. I had my dressing changed and scan at 12.15 however. I had no help getting up.

I felt sub-human and forgotten about. The Matron did apologise unreservedly.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Leicester General Hospital

We are deeply saddened to hear of your experience on Ward 26. We are pleased that both the matron and ward manager have apologised unreservedly, and the night staff have been dealt with. On the other hand your comments about the nursing staff were lovely and I know well received when they were passed on.

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