"Nobody likes being in hospital, ..."

About: Croydon University Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Nobody likes being in hospital, that isn't the point, and after ten days it all became a bit of a strain. However to be positive everyone was friendly enough and they tried hard to keep everything clean and tidy. The one doctor who on several occasions came and had a one to one discussion.

The firmly held belief of all medical staff that the bed curtains are completely soundproof provided endless amusement.

Only coming across one person over the whole time who took any notice at all of the nonsensical mobile phone ban.

What could be improved

Being, at 48, by far the youngest person on our ward it felt much of the time that the level of communication was pitched at the majority of the patients who unfortunately were in no state to hold much of a conversation about their various predicaments. On several days the only contact from the medical staff involved half a dozen people talking over you for a couple of minutes then disappearing off never to be seen again. It was difficult to be certain if anyone was noting what you said especially as they were often in a hurry to get on to the next patient. It is far more useful, if only to maintain morale, to have an individual discussion about one's case and this should happen on a regular basis. It shouldn't be necessary to go and find someone and harangue them when one hasn't been seen, as promised, for several hours, only to find one isn't going to be seen that day at all.

Attention to detail. Nurses are supposed to do 'obs' several times a day. Very important but clearly often seen as a chore.On a number of occasions my temperature wasn't taken yet was recorded on the chart. They are supposed to ask about pain and bodily functions but often these boxes were ticked by default. I wasn't given the correct drugs at one stage. No explanation was given when I pointed this out. I wonder how commonplace this is. Few people read their own drugs or observations charts - I didn't see anyone else look at theirs, so this is all taken on trust. One can do without hearing noisy conversations about the weekend's exploits between two nurses sorting out someone's bedpad at 11PM. I'm sure the patient himself wasn't too amused either.

The food in the Mayday is repulsive. How one is supposed to eat such disgusting stodge and make a recovery I have no idea. Breakfast is particularly depressing. If you don't like cereal you're stuck with a slice of bread and margarine. One day I was given a bowl of porridge, nothing else. I can't stand the stuff but was made to feel ungrateful for rejecting it. You are supposed to be given a choice but that happened on about three occasions in the ten days I was in the hospital. Small wonder I lost weight.

Take down all those stupid mobile phone notices. No-one pays any attention to them.

Story from NHS Choices

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