"Make the 'visit' more than a bad experience."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

What I liked

Only one Doctor listened to and answered any questions I had. The Nursing Staff on the whole were good,with the Ward Manager very helpful and informative. I am a Diabetc and was in hospital with double vision and an extremely painful headache, and after speaking to a Triage nurse, I was seen for two minutes after around 4 - 5 hours. I was then left for another length of time, and as I was in a good bit of pain and very tired by this time, I have no idea how long that was. When a Diabetic is entering PAH, there is no provision at all for any food or Diabetic care. When in any Ward, you have a Bowl of Soup and a Sandwich around 5pm. Tea & Biscuit at about 8/9pm, then nothing until 9am the following morning. If my wife had not brought food in to me, I would be in a very bad state, and even after I asked any Doctors who rarely seen me, they more or less ignored me. I am on a lot of medication and the Pharmacist seemed to be more interested in trying to sort her priorities out, whatever they were, which were not in line with mine. End result? the drug trolley had 2 of my daily medicines, my Ramapril, was one of which was the wrong dose, 2.5mg instead of 1.25g. The main thing I found disturbing in the extreme is/was the lack of diabetic care available for 15 hours, 5pm - 9am. The nursing staff were on the whole very good, but apart from one doctor, the rest were, in my experience then, dreadfully inadequate, and I would ask that they listen to the patient rather than be totally engrossed in the paperwork. My apologies for any grammatical mistakes as I still have double vision. I couldn't wait to get out of that place,that was my experience.

Murray Hutton.

What could be improved

Listen to the patients needs. Care for them and not the hospital 'routines'. I would be a much happeir ex-patient had the dosctors listened to me,and what my illness was,what can I do to help myself,what are the prognosis for my illness. I could say a lot more, but I am tired now and my head is hurting quite badly.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Mr Hutton,

At The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust we strive to provide the best possible care and to meet the expectations of all of our patients. I am sorry that on this occasion we were not able to do that.

Clearly we have much to learn from experiences such as yours. Thank you for being so balanced in your comments and acknowledging where you had positive experiences of care as well as where we did not meet the standards you have a right to expect from your local NHS.

As there are a number of experiences you have highlighted which we believe we can learn from we would like invite you to make contact with us so we can set up a meeting with staff concerned to understand what we need to do better in future.

Please do call us on 01279 827084.

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