"Recent emergency admission"

About: William Harvey Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My dad was discharged from Richard Stevens ward just 4 weeks ago after his stroke.

I cannot praise the staff on that ward enough! The ward was clean, the staff really helpful and the allied health professionals were totally fantastic.

I feel I have to name a few that I felt went above and beyond their roles, a dark haired staff nurse Laura, who despite my dad acting completely out of character, treated him with such dignity and understanding, taking the time to talk to him and repeatedly explained his medication in terms he could understand and all the HCA's (a lovely girl called Sarah in particular) who worked so hard, was so patient and caring with both my mum and dad.

Words cannot express how much of an impact their kind gestures and understanding meant to us all in a time when we all felt our whole world was crashing in around us. Please pass on our family's gratitude and a very, very big THANK YOU, to you all.

However, my father was admitted early hours this Monday morning with his 3rd episode of excruciating upper right sided abdominal pain, bloated distended abdomen and was unable to eat because the pain was made even worse, he was taken in via ambulance.

I work at another hospital on the other side of Kent and was unfortunately unable to get across the county to be with him, but I did ensure that my mother took in a full and extensive list of all his current (and vital) medications, mainly anti-seizure drugs and pumps to aid the maintenance of his COPD, his medical history and a list of his allergies. In the chaos of needing the ambulance in the middle of the night, she regrettably omitted to pick up his medication bag.

However I did ensure that my mum was aware of the need to inform all staff of his recent stroke and that if possible to try to keep medication to the same times/close to his normal regime at home otherwise delays in the seizure drugs were resulting in complications for him, TIAs, vacant/silent seizures, and we were only just managing to stabilise his episodes.

After a hectic night on CDU, he was moved to Kings A ward.

He was told after his ultrasound scan that it was most definitely not gallstones and was nothing to do with his gallbladder, it was a little infection and would be treated with antibiotics, then would be discharged. As Kings A was a surgical ward he would be discharged home and this 'mystery pain' would be dealt with after, as an outpatient, and if needed he would possibly have a camera down his throat at a later date.

Just prior to discharge my dad was informed "Oh yes, it is gallstones, and there's a 3 month wait to have it out". The phrase "right hand not knowing what the left is doing" springs to mind.

I was absolutely appalled to find out yesterday (after his discharge), he hadn't received a single dose of any of his drugs! Despite my mum giving staff the sheet so it could be photocopied, her telling them, my dad telling them and I even phoned to check he was getting his medication. His previous admission/discharge is on the hospital computer system, with a full list of his discharged drugs.

How can this happen?

The ward was dirty, the toilets in a shocking state, staff hygiene management was very poor at best, with staff going from patient to patient without even observing basic hand washing procedures, let alone using personal protection equipment such as gloves and aprons when handling body fluids and spills.

The worst thing I witnessed was a member of the night staff aggressively telling an elderly patient "why can’t you just wait" when he asked for a bed pan, as her shift had only just started, with this the man began to cry. The gentleman had used his emergency call bell to alert the nurse, and was left waiting 18mins, with the buzzer still going off.

With this happening in my profession, I am ashamed of her and disgusted she has the nerve to call herself a nurse. We are all under pressure in our chosen profession, but it is our chosen profession. All staff need to take a pride in their ward/department and the service we provide.

Tonight I sit here with my parents, feeling like I have personally let them down. Maybe your staff need to be updated on infection control, treating people with dignity and how to promote a positive image to our service users?

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback, and I am sorry that you had a poor experience of our surgical service. All of our services have been under extreme pressure over the last two weeks and staff have managed under very difficult circumstances. I realise that this does not excuse the poor experience that your father had during his care, and I would want to assure you that this is not the standard we expect or normally provide. I would like an opportunity to follow through your concerns with staff. Please do make contact by emailing on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story