"Very disturbing."

About: South Tyneside District Hospital

What I liked

I visited a relative in Ward 1 and found that the staff were not interacting with my relative.

A nurse came to take his temperature and did not ay what she was going to do or who she was or why.

A nurse came to look at his notes and did not speak to him or the visitors.

A doctor came to explain the next step in the treatment and explained it clearly, but did not introduce himself, referred to "the patient" instead of by name and did not enquire who we were - we could have been neighbours.

A nurse was overheard saying to another that since moving from another ward she "hated it".

At radiology a porter almost took the wrong patient away.

It is very simple to interact with patients as people but the staff were almost without exception avoiding all opportunities to interact with the patients. The sad thing is that these interactions have zero cost and enormous benefit.

What could be improved

Staff to introduce themselves to patients and visitors.

Staff to ensure that the patient understands what is being done to them.

Story from NHS Choices

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Responses

Response from South Tyneside District Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. I apologise staff were not as interactive with patients and yourselves as they should have been. You are absolutely correct in that staff should introduce themselves and explain to patients why they are at the bed side and what they are going to do. I fully appreciate the benefits patients receive from friendly and courteous staff interaction. I will share your comments with the staff from Ward 1 in order that they can reflect on your observations and improve on communications with patients and relatives. I trust your relative makes a speedy recovery and wish you a Happy New Year.

Lorraine Lambert

Chief Executive

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