"Clean ward but a little rushed"

About: Colchester General Hospital

What I liked

The individual members of staff reassured me about the procedure. The environment was clean and quiet. The "cannulation king", as he was affectionately known by his colleagues, did very well to find a vein in me. First time as well! Very impressed.

What could be improved

I felt that, although the nursing staff worked well as a team, they could have been more discreet about the fact that they were understaffed. Discussions about who was covering what job was openly talked about in front of patients. The following conversation took place right in front of me: "why can't the doctors do the consent forms? There's not enough of us as it is" "I know, that's what X said".

I had a miserable time throughout the procedure, despite the sedation, and am sure the constant retching gave it away. Instead of telling me to relax, perhaps giving me the remainder of the sedative would have helped more and made it easier for everyone involved.

When the procedure was over, I felt rather rushed out of the ward and was only given about 5 minutes to wolf down 2 slices of toast and a cup of tea before being ushered out. I was also a little concerned about one of the nurses working on the ward. It seemed as though they were lacking co-ordination in their hands and yanked my cannula out very quickly and at a 90 degree angle. Very uncomfortable! Perhaps this shakiness was due to a health problem of theirs. Regardless of the cause, I felt that they shouldn't be performing such delicate tasks.

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience.

We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers.

We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me and tell me the ward you were on please?

Many thanks


Paul Searle, Head of Communications

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust


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