Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Change of Scenery

After 1 day short of 4 weeks, it looks like my wife will be moving out of Blackburn Hospital, and into Preston Hospital. She is scheduled for surgery tomorrow, but no one has told her what the operation is. They have transferred someone out of Preston to Blackburn to make room for her, but the paramedics that brought the patient from Preston are too busy to take my wife back!

On the day that the results of a survey on patient satisfaction was published, indicating that 90% are happy with their stay in hospital, we find ourselves definitely in the 10%. I don't know about you, but in an area as critical as this, 90% satisfaction doesn't seem to great. Also as part of the survey, 22% said patients were not treated with dignity and respect. Once again we are in that negative group. One of the worst aspects of her stay in hospital has been the lack of staff talking directly to her about what is going on, when they did bother to talk to her they often talked down to her, and there was very little thought given to her dignity or the dignity of other patients on the ward.

Last night, a 98 year old lady had to wait over half an hour for a nurse to respond to her buzzer, wanting to be taken to the toilet, despite being regularly in the same room doing non-urgent tasks, and despite my wife pointing out that the old lady was buzzing. My wife has sometimes had to wait two hours in severe pain, for the nurses to bring her prescribed morphine. Some of this is down to the ward being understaffed, but some of it is just down to the attititudes of some of the staff.

I must point out that some of the nursing staff have been fabulous, and have done everything possible to make my wife's extended stay as comfortable as possible, but this has been far from universal.

Another NHS topic in the news recently is mixed wards. My wife is on a mixed ward. In a brand new hospital you wouldn't think this would be the case.

Oh well, nearly visiting time. Better check which hospital I'm visiting before I set off!