Beckett Street, Leeds, England, LS9 7TF
I spent just over two weeks on this ward staying in both a shared 5 bed bay for one week and was also fortunate enough to benefit from a side room for the remainder of my stay. My initial comments would be that this is an extremely busy ward and feel that the staff / patient ratio is extremely stretched. There are a high proportion of high-need patients and I believe that the needs of these, and all patients, would be better served with additional nursing staff allocated to the ward. Throughout my stay it became clear to me that there are a number of exceptional staff members: Doctors, Pharmacists, Sisters, Staff Nurses, Health Care Assistants and housekeeping staff. I felt that these members of staff were highly motivated to ensure the needs of the patient, and thus the proper functioning of the ward, were paramount to their approach. These staff introduced themselves to me, asked how I was feeling and took genuine interest in my response, were able to answer questions related to my care (or endeavour to find out), were able to individualise my care, showed genuine interest in both my physical and mental well-being and comfort, took into account my dignity as a patient and were accountable for the service and help they provided. These staff including, but in no particular order: Caroline, Ian, Louise, Matin, Mona, Beth and Jade are an asset to the ward and wider trust and should be commended for their tireless hard work. Unfortunately, this approach did not extend to the full ward, and when encountering and interacting with some other members of staff, my experience was like night and day. When being looked after by these staff common traits included: staff not introducing themselves to me by name when looking after me, none communication relating to my care, reluctance to answer questions related to my care, looking disinterested, showing no interest in the personal aspects of my care, playing on phones whilst others around them are running about busy, showing little appetite or awareness of patient confidentiality or dignity. I am happy to provide the names of staff where this is the case. Some staff appeared to be struggling with the pace of the ward and as a by product provided care below expectations. As a person who likes to be involved in my care, even though in these occasions I had to actively chase up information, I was conscientious enough to ensure my health did not suffer. This sometimes resulted in strained conversations with staff and unfortunately I was left feeling like I was wrong to discuss my health needs or concerns. Unfortunately not all patients were in a position to ensure their needs were catered for. There were a significant number of patients who appeared to be suffering from deteriorated mental health. These patients, I feel, would have benefitted from a higher proportion of care however, possibly due to staff shortages, this was not always the case. I witnessed several occasions where patients were left in vulnerable situations and fear that it may only be a matter of time before a patient comes to harm either through a fall or lack of supervision for admission of medicines without appropraite follow up. A further issue that was a feature of the first week of my stay was the pushing aside of two beds to create an additional space for a further patient; effectively putting six beds in a five bed bay. I understand the pressure on bed spaces as widely publicised throughout this winter however feel the safety aspects (shared oxygen), dignity (makeshift barrier but beds less than two feet apart) and additional pressure this places on already over-stretched staff is a an accident waiting to happen. Combined with an effect on other patients due to the arrival, often throughout the night, in loss of sleep. I feel this had a negative overall effect on the well-being of patients and feel surely a better approach should be considered. I understand that this is a bigger issue that would require a holistic change in NHS funding however I feel this needs noting as the impact is detrimental to everyone. Finally, I wish to state my sincere thanks at being lucky enough to benefit from staying in my own room for the second week of my stay. I was averaging three hours sleep a night, lights were often left on until late into the night, the door to the bay left open meaning that any conversation at the nurses station was audible and televisions turned up at a disproportionate level. This combined with my previous issues with staff along with being worried and frustrated about my prognosis health-wise as well as struggling to deal with a lack of privacy meant that by the end of the first week my mental health was suffering. It was thanks to the staff who arranged and advocated for my move to this room. Being able to get some sleep and benefit from additional privacy made me feel like a different person and immeasurably improved my mental state and overall experience. I knew, and was prepared for being moved out of this room at any point for a patient who was in greater need but I am so thankful for being allowed this space. Finally I would like to make a special mention to the housekeeping staff. Their application to keeping the ward spotlessly clean and friendliness and care in providing meals and drinks really gave genuine respite against a prevailing back drop of anxious, stressful and sometimes painful situations. Thank you.
The self-referral to physio is a fantastic service to which I am very grateful. I sustained a couple of running injuries whilst training for my first marathon. Victoria Harvey was an amazing physio when I had my running injury. I only ever saw Victoria which was great for continuity of care. She gave advice and treatment, including exercises, which kept me on track with my marathon schedule. I will always be grateful for her professionalism and knowledge, and the deep tissue massages. Thank you!
It was really good to be able to have telephone appointments as I live a distance from the hospital. I felt more relaxed talking in the comfort of my own home and it didn't matter if I got upset as I didn't have to face people on the way out of the hospital. Having said that that I cannot praise enough the way I was treated in outpatients initially.