Ashton Road, Lancaster, England, LA1 4RP
I was asked to attend Radiology for an MRI Scan appointment . When I arrived no member of staff was present. Five minutes later the person on reception walked through the waiting area, made no comment, opened the hatch from the office to the waiting area, gave me a form on a clipboard and instructed me :- "fill this in." This I did with great difficulty because I had little use of my hand due to a stroke. I returned to the window to give it back and was left waiting 5 mins whilst members of staff chatted about engagement rings etc. After ten minutes I was called through, told to change into a gown and was left unattended within a small cubicle instead of being placed in the waiting area. I feel that my experience within this department was impersonal and I was not treated with due care and consideration of my needs. I felt that I was an inconvenience to the staff running the service despite me being courteous and considerate towards them. Indeed to treat a vulnerable patient in such a way surely is unacceptable.
I was sent by my G.P. as an emergency admission to A&E. My G.P. gave me a detailed letter which was available for staff . Despite this I was waiting one hour and ten minutes before anyone asked the question:- 'haven't you been seen yet?' I was subsequently triaged by a nurse, which was pointless as the G.P. had already done this! After asking why a doctor had not seen me I was accompanied to the Ambulatory Clinic. So estimated time for my EMERGENCY admission before seeing a doctor was almost two hours! The waiting room was a lonely place, devoid of caring staff with only empty disposable cups littered around and grubby walls to look at. It did not meet my expectation of a place of safety and care. To be expected to sit there feeling so very ill was inhumane. Subsequently my diagnosis was a stroke, which given all the guidelines about early diagnosis and treatment is VERY disturbing. MBHT has failed me. CQC please note.
Most of the nurses were lovely . I was saddened by the attitude of the staff nurse on duty. She appeared to totally lack compassion. She treated all the patients very curtly, and did not give people time to answer. I think they were short staffed as at times the buzzers rang for what appeared to be a long time, the alarms on drip counters were the same. Two workmen came onto the ward to test that the beds functioned properly. They went to one older ladies bed, ( who was fast asleep) and the next thing she knew was her bed was being disturbed by two unknown men! She was very distressed, I don't know why the nurse in charge of the ward allowed them to do that. Over all I could not wait to escape , I would have taken my own discharge rather than stay there.
The Acute Surgical Unit at RLI is amazing. Beds are in constant demand: so much so that, as soon as one patient is discharged, their bed is stripped, the bay is thoroughly cleansed/disinfected, the bed re-made and another patient installed within 5 to 10 minutes maximum. In spite of the high turnover, patients are not made to feel under any pressure at all and each and every person is treated with the highest level of care and dignity. Pain relief is managed sensibly so that, if you decline medication when the drugs trolley is dispensing, you are urged to 'buzz' if you find you need some later. Anti nausea drugs are dispensed where necessary and these help enormously in alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with surgical conditions. I have given maximum marks for each question apart from "timely information about care and treatment" for which I have only given 4 stars because there can be small delays in passing on these details. However, this seems to be due purely to the number of patients, the variety of conditions and the enormous pressure on the overworked staff. There are a few small niggles - the food is patchy (soup is normally too salty; tea is invariably navvy's strength) and there are no medicines available for minor ailments eg post operative itchiness - but these can be overcome with a little forward planning and/or improvisation. I was very impressed that each and every member of the staff on ASU worked as part of 'the team'. There were no demarcation lines (apart from those determined by qualifications) and, if there was a dirty cup to be moved, then anyone from the cleaner to the ward manager was willing to 'do the necessary'. RLI has been criticised in recent weeks as a 'failing' hospital but several of us in ASU agreed that, if RLI is a failing hospital, then the top hospitals must be equivalent to 5 star hotels!
The staff on the ward was very friendly and helpful and always available for help and advise. At some points you could tell that they was short staffed as they did apologies for not sorting out what you asked for as quickly as they would have liked.