"More caring, less cakes and gossip please nurses"

About: Frenchay Hospital

Anything else?

I was referred to the EDA unit at 11pm by MIU at Southmead as they were concerned that after diagnosis I was unable to sit or stand without swiftly becoming faint. After a head injury and strong analgesia combined with a fractured shoulder they decided it was safer to keep me in for observation. As such, I left my parents to go home and continued in the transport ambulance to the ward, being sick in the vehicle on the way. On arrival one friendly nurse took charged of booking me in and was very helpful in getting me in a bay and telling me the doctor needed to check me over before admittance. Thereafter I was pretty much ignored by the other staff on the nursing station in front of me for the full three hours I was there. Three hours instead of overnight because they decided to ignore the advice of their medical colleagues at the referral unit, though I grant I was presenting different and improved symptoms. Having been told that I was just there to be checked in, an unidentified member of staff informed me that I was fine to go home, which the registrar confirmed. Of course by this time I was even further from home, it was 1am and my parents had been dispatched. I had to ask to have a cup of water, sandwich and to go for a loo break while the nurses seemed more interested in sitting in front of me, sniping about certain patients, conducting tests on themselves, flirting and eating Haribo. Surely a drink and an 'are you ok?' Are basic standards of nursing care? An elderly gentleman in the bay opposite was tended to by a very genuine, compassionate doctor but subsequently left shivering in his vest under a blanket he had to get for himself. Again- basic nursing? When he came to be transferred to the ward the nurse left the porter to carelessly unhook him from the obs machines instead of doing it herself. Firstly it seems to me a classic example of poor communications or cooperation between hospitals. Left hand was not talking to the right hand. Secondly the standard of actual caring was so poor, in stark contrast to the lovely team at Southmead MIU. It costs nothing to sit with a patient and chat while you're on duty (instead of gossiping indiscreetly with colleagues) but it makes the world of difference in someone's treatment. Introducing yourself to patients should go without saying - even the Holby actors know that. Basic comforts like drinks and loo breaks should also be mechanical, so really should sympathy and engagement. Pull your socks up, Frenchay.

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Response from Frenchay Hospital

Dear Thewholetruth – Thank you for your kind comments about Southmead MIU. I am sorry that you found the attitude of the nurses with the ED at Frenchay to be unprofessional and unsupportive of your immediate needs. This is not the standard of care we would expect for any of our patients, and I regret your poor experience. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the care of the other patient you referred to. I have also noted your comments about communication and agree that all patients should expect a seamless care pathway. Your comments have been fed back to the ED in order that the staff are able to reflect on your experience and learn from the poor impression you received, in what is an extremely busy and challenging area of the hospital. I am aware that the ED staff have all being working very hard to overcome the testing situation in A&E departments across the NHS, as reported recently in the press, and I am sure that the department managers will be concerned to read your comments. Kind regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team Manager

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