Beckett Street, Leeds, England, LS9 7TF
Most people on ward 98 have had major surgery. There was no help or physio to show myself & others in my bay how to get out of bed safely. I know people should be shown this as I have had the same surgery before on a different ward & I was shown how to move correctly. I could see patients straining after surgery and nobody gave them advice. I was asked if I wanted to see a physio & an enhanced recovery nurse came the following day but she only explained about how to manage after leaving the hospital. I was sent for a chest X-ray (having two patients opposite me with chesty coughs made this extra worrying) and when the porter brought a bed to take me to X-ray I felt as though I was being rushed to lay down on the bed bearing in mind I had just got up for the first time after surgery. I had to request a wheelchair as it was too difficult to do what was being suggested to me by the nurse Nicky Collins. There was a lady in the bed next to me who quite clearly had mental health issues. She should not have been on ward 98 with people who have just had surgery. She was constantly shouting & swearing especially during the night and she even threatened to 'tip people out of bed & strangle them'. She also had personal hygiene needs that were frankly unhygienic next to a patient with a fresh wound especially as I have suffered a wound infection on a previous hospital admittance. I also heard that a patient in isolation had MRSA which was very worrying as the hygiene standards on the ward were not ideal. I am pretty sure the door to this side room was left open. I saw a poster in the toilet asking patients to inform staff if they had an incidence of diarrhoea. I did this & the staff did not respond at all. I thought they would at least inspect the the toilet & arrange for it cleaning if necessary. I was asked for three urine samples following surgery. On the first occasion I pulled the emergency cord to alert someone that I had done a sample, however the emergency cord came loose & broke away from the ceiling in my hand. It was not fixed for at least the next 24 hours that I was there. I thought this was extremely dangerous as it was putting all patients at risk. On the second occasion I told the nurse Nicky I had a sample & she asked me to 'leave it in the toilet as somebody would collect it - but not me' she said laughing. It was getting close to the time the staff changed shifts so I knew she wanted somebody on the next shift to collect it. The sample was in the toilet in a bed pan for around an hour and a half before Jessica Wilmot removed it on her shift. The food provided for lunch and dinner was generally of a good standard however the breakfast was not great and no consideration was given to any dietary needs. I informed the nurse Nicky I was lactose intolerant & she told me she would order some lactose free milk. I did not eat breakfast the first morning. On the second morning I was told the milk hadn't arrived & I was given some porridge made with water which was inedible as it was like glue. The following day I was asked if a relative could bring in some milk for me. The information I was given at my pre-assessment emphasised the importance of eating well after surgery. Also the room temperature on the ward was at times unbearable. I was told that this is centrally controlled. It was far too cold and above my bed there was a huge air conditioning vent. It was practically like torture being unable to move trapped under a freezing cold air vent. How can anyone be expected to recover quickly in these temperatures? I heard various staff members complain about the temperature & they were wearing thick fleeces & it wasn't even winter yet. Overall I think more attention should be paid to general hygiene especially that of the toilets. The cleaners only seemed to make a brief visit to the ward. Also the situations between patients should be monitored. I had 6 hours sleep in 2 nights following surgery due to the patient with mental health issues keeping me awake all night with shouts & threats. I also spoke to another patient in the next bay who had slept in the day room because of the way the other patients in her bay were treating her. I understand the ward is a busy place and the staff do not always have the time to give everyone appropriate care. I know that a lot of staff are trying their best. In my opinion the best members of staff I dealt with were health care assistant Jess Wilmot (she deserves a pay rise) and Hazel O'Connor.
I took my 83 year old mum to her eye appointment here and she was treated really well with total respect. (Sadly I have experienced times in Bradford where my mum was ignored and the hospital staff spoke to me instead) All our questions were answered and we were helped to relax by the staff. The scans were explained and when I asked for further detail of the injection being given to mum, the member of staff went out of her way to find a leaflet which I could take away. I cannnot believe how much I am expected to type in this box before it will allow me to submit. The feedback on the feedback is that this is really off putting and I want to give up!!!!
Please give emotional support and psychological care. My physical self was cared for, mostly by machines ie. Pain relief and fluids. I felt processed, that I didn't matter as a person. Emotionally, for me, this ward was bleak. I felt very alone and not just because of my cancer. Answer call bells, I know you're short staffed, but I eventually turned my system off myself! Tired of hearing it.