"Post operative facilties & nursing care"

About: Harrogate District Hospital

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I chose to go to Harrogate because of the reputation of the surgeons. All the pre-op sessions went very well and were very efficiently run. I was therefore totally unprepared for what I experienced post-operatively.

I found the Wensleydale Ward to be unsuitable for orthopaedic patients. Only 1 in 3 lavatories was fit for disabled use, and of the 3 lavatories closest to my unit, 2 were out of order (and had been for some time). This included the disabled toilet. The toilets were fitted wit raised seats. All too often I found this seat had been removed, making it impossible to use the lavatory. I was told that this was probably by members of staff, who then forgot to replace it.

There seemed to be no proper routine set for the care support staff. Only once in 4 days was I offered, and brought, a bowl of water so that I could wash. Given the state of the lavatories, washing in these was not possible. Beds were left untidy and unstraightened for days. Even when they were made, the sheet and thin cotton blanket was left folded over at the bottom of the bed. For hip replacement patients like myself who are no allowed to bend forward, it made it very difficult to pull these over oneself.

Staff did not come when required. As we were connected to devices to prevent blood clots in the lower leg, we were unable to disconnect ourselves to go to the lavatory. Staff refused to help those who needed to use bedpans, and on the day I left, I was told that one elderly woman fell as a result of being expected to stand to use a commode unaided.

It seemed to me that the Care Support staff tried their best but did not appear to be properly trained. One I spoke to who was working alone said she had only started that week, and was supposed to be working with a mentor, but that mentor had not shown up all week.

Despite being told prior to my admission, that we would receive physio sessions 3 times a day, I only had 3 in 4 days. The physios seemed to be understaffed and very overworked.

I was ready for discharge at 10.30 am. At 5.00 pm I was still waiting. Even then the required medication was not ready and my daughter had to return that even (a matter of a long walk, a train and a bus) to collect it.

As an ex-nurse I can honestly say I have never been on such a disorganised Ward.

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Responses

Response from Harrogate District Hospital

Thank you for your comments and I am sorry that the quality of care was not satisfactory during your time in the Hospital.

We take all complaints very seriously indeed and the Matron and Sister for the ward have been asked by our Chief Nurse to look into the issues you have reaised and they would be happy to discuss their findings with you. If you would like to do so, please contact our Patient Experience Team on 01423 555499 or email thepatientexperienceteam@hdft.nhs.uk

I apologise again for the unsatisfactory experience that you had.

Chris Watt

Head of Communications

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

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