"My stay in Kings C1"

About: William Harvey Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I recently had the misfortune to fall and break my left hip in the snow and as a result found myself in A&E where they confirmed by X-Ray the damage and told me I would have a total hip replacement the following day. I was then transferred to Kings C1. After spending my first night there I was taken to theatre the following morning to have the broken hip replaced. I have to say that I found the treatment I received in the operating suite pre and post op very good and the staff were very efficient.

I went back to the ward and initially I was comfortable and in good spirits and ate a small meal. However I was kept awake all night due to noisy patients and buzzers and lights constantly being turned on and off.

The following morning I managed to eat some porridge for breakfast and saw the physios who got me up and moving about but by lunchtime I was beginning to feel nauseous and could not face food. In addition to the various medication that I was on I was also give anti nausea tablets. That night yet again I was unable to sleep due to noise, lights going on and off and a general feeling of being thoroughly depressed.

The next day was a repeat of the previous day, broken up by a visit to X-ray and occupational therapists, but in addition to my nausea I started to itch all over and by late evening was starting to hallucinate. I still was not able to keep any food down. Again I was unable to sleep.

The following morning I was feeling even more depressed and it was only when a doctor saw me later in the day he suggested that I might be having an allergic reaction to the painrelieving drug I had been prescribed and said I should stop taking them.

Due to being with the occupational therapists my dinner was removed before I returned to the ward and my wife mentioned this to the staff who were on that evening and they managed to provide some chips of which I did manage to eat a few. Night-time in the ward was a repeat of the previous nights except that the nursing staff moved me to a side ward in the hope I might get some sleep but this was not to be as I continued to hallucinate until morning and was by then utterly distraught.

After being seen by a doctor later that morning I was judged suitably well enough to be discharged.

I have been in hospital in the past when the nursing staff had time to spend with their patients and offer a little TLC if someone was feeling poorly but my experience this time was nothing like that. I felt that the nurses I saw were going through the motions in a mechanical sort of way, ticking all the boxes on their charts with very little interaction or time for the patient. The analogy of a conveyor belt production line comes to mind.

All in all I would not like to relive my recent experience in hospital again.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you very much for proving us with feedback about your treatment and care and I am sorry that these did not come up to the standards that we would expect from our staff. It sounds as if your treatment was successful, however the care and compassion did not seem to be there? I know that the ward has been very busy over the past few weeks, which may put your experience into context.

I note your concerns about noise and lighting at night and how this interrupted your sleep. A also note that therapy staff may not have considered the guidelines we have about protecting mealtimes for patients.

I would be interested in talking with you further about your experience and so if you would like to contact me by email on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net I will be pleased to arrange to give you a call.

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