Sunday, 19 October 2008

First the good points....

Having a had a bit of a stress this week we found ourselves once again in the care of our local hospital, anyone who knows us knows where that is, I won't name & shame but anyone who wants pre-warning please feel free to e-mail me and I'll let you know which it was.

After having lunch and just getting ready for work for no reason my heart started pounding in my chest, very fast & very hard. After 10 minutes it didn't slow down and my husband could see it beating from across the room so we decided a trip to hospital might be in order. Its at this point we are always faced with the same decision; where? We are equidistant from 2 hospitals but live within the borders of one health care trust who we, ironically, have never trusted. The list of reasons is long and monumental, going back years to before our children were even born. So in that moment we have to decide whether to go with our slightly closer local A&E or travel 5 minutes longer and go to the trust in which we trust and where we are booked to deliver our third child. In the end we decided to go local only because the hospital from the other trust has an A&E which is in a separate building from antenatal care so we thought (wrongly, obviously) that going to our local hospital where its all together would mean the baby would be looked after too.

Before I chronicle the list of health care crimes that ensure I will NEVER cross the doors of that hospital again unless I am unconscious in an ambulance and have no choice I will point out that: the triage nurse wasted no time and immediately took me to an area to be monitored after seeing what my vitals were, its the first time I have ever been to said hospital and not felt like they couldn't care less about what I was saying and that I was out the door before I had finished my sentence, the doctors and nurses in A&E kept us informed and up to date with what they were doing all the time and I saw several different doctor in ascending rank from the same team so they had obviously sought and taken advise from other members of the team.

Once I was admitted and transferred from A&E though it all went down hill rapidly. The staff on the late shift were lovely but massively over stretched dealing with wandering dementia patients, dying patients, patients with learning difficulties who had no carers accompanying them as well as the usual level of sickness and pain you would expect. One nurse told me she had been assaulted by patients on 5 separate occasions that day. I wouldn't have blamed her for going home at that point. My first concern once I got to ward was if anyone would check on the health of our baby, we had had only 20 seconds of reassurance with a doppler in A&E, I was assured a midwife would come over during the evening and in the morning to check on her. He/she never materialised, I assume she is still wandering around geriatric wards looking confused when she cannot find a heartbeat in the stomach of an elderly patient who is full of wind.

The night shift staff were equally lovely, and equally thin on the ground. But that's no defense for the appalling lack of infection control practice, not only were patients with active diarrhoea and vomiting in an open bay and not a side room but during my 24 hours on the ward I only witnessed 2 hand washes in all that time. Nurses and auxiliaries went round from bed 1 to bed 6 doing drug rounds and observation rounds from one patient to another without so much as a splash of water on their hands. Being the patient in bed number 6 I was left to wonder what sort of bug I would contract through my bed-number lottery, would it be MRSA or would I get off with a little vomiting bug?

To add insult to injury the overhead fluorescent lights were flicked on at 6.30am, well why not? The staff are awake why should the patients sleep? Its not like we had all been awake most of the night while drips alarmed ignored for long periods of time and our bay-mate vomited the night away?

The morning staff were an interesting bunch, seemingly unable to speak to patients directly, I found out I was being discharged when 2 nurses had a conversation at the bottom of my bed 'she's going home isn't she.....?'

So after being discharged we had a cup of tea at home and headed up to the other hospital to check on the baby, who is fine. The staff there were appalled by the treatment we had received and thankfully made any future decisions for us, 'don't bother going there, just come straight to us.'

Oh and the biggest irony..... the day I was admitted the self same hospital was all over the local papers for getting a top star rating and being so clean. The mind boggles it truly does.

1 comment:

*-~EIGNA~-* said...

oh my god what a distrastrous hospital that sounds? how on earth did they get a good review from your local paper? i gather they only reviewed the emergency department as from what you have said it seems the only sane and on the ball team!

I do hope that the 5 minute extra journey for any emergencies/baby delivery (hope there are no emergencies bar baby coming ) will mean you get looked after.

dh being able to see heart beating through your chest sounds bloody scary!!! sheesh i would have been out the door like a shot within five minutes of seeing it, you must have been scared daft?