"I have been going to Homerton ..."

About: Homerton University Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I have been going to Homerton as an outpatient, day stay and longer-term in-patient for the past seven years. I have had a good experience of the other following wards where staff were professional and it was cleaner: Intensive Care, Lloyd, Medical Day Unit (of particular merit, very efficient and clean), Day Stay Unit, Surgical Ward (extremely clean), the A&E admissions ward (lovely staff) and Preistly Ward.

My consultant gastroenterologist, is absolutely brilliant and anyone who requires gastroenterology care would be very well served as an outpatient by Homerton Hospital. Outpatient waits can be long, but this is because of the amount of care an attention each individual is given.

What could be improved

Edith Cavell ward, where I have stay about seven times as an in-patient, needs a radical overhaul in just about every way imaginable. For a start off, it's a mixed gender ward, which makes me feel frightened when I am a patient. The toilets and bathrooms are already dirty and run-down, despite being recently refitted. None of the showers worked for two days. The toilets need to be properly and deeply cleaned as there are splatters and brown stains, I can only guess what they are, around the floor and skirting. I really wish someone would inspect the bathrooms every 15 minutes. Bedside cabinets MUST be fitted with lockers. There were several thefts while I was there in October 2007 and Christmas 2006. Every time I went to the toilet I had to take my handbag with me. A theif on the ward was also going into people's lockers when they were asleep.

The bed management that I experienced was extremely poor. I was placed in a bay with high-dependency patients and frequently had to smell other people's faeces as their dressings were changed. It was totally inappropriate for me to be put with the people who needed constant care and monitoring.

The strip light shining directly in my eyes above the bed wasn't turned off until 11pm, but sleep was impossible because of the loud noises and bad smells.

I was told I was not allowed to have my curtain pulled around because the nurses said they wanted to see the other patients (they didn't need to monitor me, it was because of which bed they had put me in), but I am agoraphobic, so I got into a major panic state about this, then I became so depressed I said that I would have to go home because it was all too stressful. At this point the doctors tried to find a side room or quieter bed for me, which was kind, but the nurses said they were too busy to move me and it was awkward and time consuming for them. In the event there was no side room. Nurses do not have any interest in putting patients above their own agendas. I understand that they work hard and are good, decent people, but morale on that ward among nurses is extremely low and it reflects in the disrespectful way patients are treated by some nurses.

The nurses seem extremely strained and stressed and unapproachable in any way. One nurse was an absolute misery and just simply rude to everyone, and other patients commented on this and some treated her abusively back, which is an appalling situation.

Story from NHS Choices

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