"A good start, getting worse"

About: Queen Alexandra Hospital

(as the patient),

Last December i was admitted to the Queen Alexandra in Cosham (Portsmouth) and remained there until march 2006. I was taken there after a very serious road accident and there was little hope i would survive. I also went up to the John Radcliffe in Oxford for an operation to repair my pelvis.

I am very grateful for the NHS and all the time the surgeons and nurses spent training and getting qualified for their chosen profession. I am not in the habit of picking fault with those who are there to help us, but having been to two different hospitals the difference between them couldn't have been more obvious.

Now when i first arrived at the Q.A. i was happily asleep in a coma and all i have to go on is what my mother and friends tell me. The care and treatment i received initially was first class, there was a nurse there for me every minute of the day and night ensuring i was still alive i guess.

In January 2006 i moved up to the John Radcliffe for my operation, again the treatment was first class and the nurses seemed to be well motivated and really cared for the patients.

When i returned to Cosham i was put in a side room opposite the nurses station and the treatment and care gradually seemed to get worse like it was on a sliding scale of sorts.

I know now that i have a serious brain injury, which affects my speech, eyesight, and cognition. Some of the nurses however really couldn't seem to care less. When i could get out of bed i would sit in the chair by the window in my room with the aid of the pulpit frame, i only had to move about four feet from the bed to the chair but i had to use the frame.

One nurse in particular became very annoyed by this as i would have to use my bell push and ask to be put back into bed,. Normally the nurses would oblige, move my tray out of the way and then wheel the pulpit frame around. i would stand up, grab hold and walk the three steps to my bed, this particular nurse asked me if i could manage without the frame i replied no i couldn't and that i would prefer to use the frame.

But instead she picked up the pulpit frame and shoved it on my bed then walked round to where i was sat and put the frame on the floor just out of my reach!

My urine bottles would be left on the windowsill for days at a time, the curtains in my room would remain closed unless my mother or visitors opened them, and the conversations i would hear about other patients and whether they were good or not!

The screening process for MRSA is next to useless if the nurses don't enforce the hygeine rules you are supposed to follow, i should have washed twice a day using Aquasept? I was bedbound and reliant on the nurses, who wouldn't enquire if i had had a wash that day, suffice to say even when i left the Q.A. i still had MRSA for another 4 months.

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Response from

Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your experience of care at Queen Alexandra Hospital following your very serious road accident in December 2005. First of all, the Trust is pleased that you feel that during the critical phase of your treatment, in which you note there was little hope you would survive the accident, that the treatment you received at the hospital was in your words 'first class'. I will convey that to the critical care team at the hospital. However I am very disappointed and concerned to note your experience of care following your return to the hospital after a brief transfer to Oxford for a pelvis repair. You have not provided details of your identity or the ward you were on so it is difficult to undertake a formal investigation. However your comments are of great concern to me - they appear to relate to the care received by you from nursing staff and I have shared your feedback with the Trust's Director of Nursing and Midwifery and the Head of Nurse Training and Development. The Trust places great emphasis on feedback and on a monthly basis, reviews of incidents and complaints information to identify areas for improvement in relation to care. This is linked to training programmes in place to ensure ongoing development for staff and there is a particular emphasis on improving basic care skills such as communication and infection control. The Trust has an extensive programme of infection control activities which are regularly monitored through ward audits and through spot checks. There is, for all staff, a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of high standards of infection control practice and we are looking at ways to encourage visitors to become aware of their role in maintaining a safe environment of care. Once again, thank you for bringing these issues to our attention - it helps to use experiences such as yours to train staff in the importance, not only of the highly skilled intervention that made your recovery possible, but also the basic skills required to ensure your full recovery and rehabilitation.
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