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Being truthful...my hospital experience could have been better - anyone else agree?

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I am extremely thankful for the care and professional expertise provided at the hospital following my SAH, and painkillers aside, it helped me cope knowing that I was surrounded by people who knew what they were doing.

The 2 weeks in hospital did, however, allow me to recognise some of the shortfalls of the overall experience - where I think improvements could be made and out of sheer curiosity, I wondered if some of my experiences are shared by some of you too.

Southampton Hospital


- My biggest bug bear was that my medications weren't given on time. I really needed them spaced out every 6 hours (e.g. 6am, 12 noon, 6pm, 12 midnight) but I got them perhaps 7.15am, 1.30pm, 6.20pm and 10.20pm. Often they were late, sometimes by an hour or more, and other times a few hours early. Because they weren't spaced out appropriately I then found myself needing more pain killers including "oramorph" (a type of morphine but not sure of the spelling!) to top me up when the pain got too much - especially during the early hours of the morning. It was only after I realised the oramorph was giving me slight breathing problems that I started to try and control the times that they gave me the medications so I wouldn't get to the point of the pain breaking through too much - and started to actively ask for the medication during the day and then save my last lot of medication to take it later in the evening to tide me through until the morning. This allowed me to reduce my pain medication and become less reliant on the hit and miss timings when meds were handed out but I felt myself being a pain asking for the medication. In the early days when the pain was worse I'd be in so much pain I'd feel so miserable - and when I'd ask for meds there were several times where the nurses seemingly ignored me and made me wait until the normal trolley came through.

- Prior to having a bed bath the nurse asked me if I needed the loo. I didn't think I did, but after 15 minutes of a lovely bath and just as she'd finished changing my sheets I decided I needed to go (something about waking up and having the water on my skin turn cool got me feeling like a wee LOL). The nurse got huffy and told me "I asked you if you wanted the toilet before we started and you said no" - I knew she was extremely irritated from her tone and manner. "Sorry but I want to go now". I wasn't trying to be difficult and I felt like I was a deliberately awkward patient from one of the Little Britain comedy sketches (the one in the wheelchair with the carer!) and I don't think I should have been made to feel bad.

- I was given injections to stop me from being sick with the oramorph. Now...I had a canular in my arm (spelling?!) that could have been used...and I could have been given an oral anti-sickness tablet. They never mentioned or offered these options. I'm told by a friend (who is in and out of hospital most days/months as her son is currently losing his battle with cancer) that this was to save money as this injection is cheaper. Why do they do that? Don't they think you're in enough pain?!

- I'm left handed and I think it would have been useful to ask me this fact so they could put the canular in my right arm. It meant that everytime I tried to use my left arm (such as to clean my teeth) the alarm went off on the machine - the sound of which hurt my head and which the nurses sometimes switched off promptly and other times left it going for what seemed like 5-10 minutes.

- A nurse took my readings and then moved my bedside table (which had my drink on it etc) to the foot of my bed. I think this was Day 2 or 3. This lack of attention was surprising as I was in a lot of pain and had not been given a buzzer (still behind me hanging up) and couldn't ask anyone for anything and was thirsty. Luckily a nurse was passing by around an hour or so later to attend to another patient heard me shouting across and then moved the table back when I asked her. I think nurses should take more care about this kind of thing.

- Why do they not automatically put the buzzer near you so you can call them - plus I would say 80% of my total requests weren't carried out in a timely manner e.g. "nurse I need some meds as I'm in a lot of pain"... you'd get 30-60 minutes later where you'd think you'd get assistance in 5-10 minutes. Sometimes a nurse would turn off my buzzer (which I must have rang maybe 4-5 times a day so not excessive I think)...and agree to assist me - only for me not to see them again.

One patient opposite me was desperate for the loo and was in tears as they weren't helping her. I got out of bed to try and find a nurse (which killed my head and had my lying down for the next half hour to recover). Poor girl nearly never made it and she'd been asking for it for half an hour.

- I just got used to being on a particular ward - but then suddenly I'd be moved onto another ward. Over the space of 1.5 weeks I was moved 3 times (with a 4th attempt to move me which I managed to get them to agree to do the following morning...which they ended up not doing). Why do they move patients around so much?

- One very ill woman was badly constipated and they put her on a commode with the curtains around and left her to go the loo. She literally stank out the whole room - I don't mean to be unkind when I say that the whole room smelt like shi*. Honestly, it turned my stomach and I couldn't even bear to drink my water which was left 'open to the elements'. Why do they do that? I asked the nurse since the commode had wheels why couldn't they 'wheel her to the toilet' for privacy and to not stink out the rest of the ward. She apologised, air freshened the room (which didn't kill the smell). My partner visited me 2 hours afterwards and wrinkled his nose with the smell to which I replied "you should have been in here 2 hours ago!".

Anyone else have similar experiences?

Edited by snootybutnice
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Hi, I think it depends so much on the hospital you are in?

I was taken to the nearest hospital (they were fantastic) then taken to Aberdeen where a nurse after being told 'i'm going to be sick' said 'oh sh*t' & jumped away from my bed!! I was then moved to Edinburgh (they were fantastic too).

The nurses on neuro wards have a tough call, they hear so much & have to weigh up if the person speaking actually knows who they are & where they are that soon after a SAH & then do their best with that judgement - wouldn't want to make that call myself.....

There were a lot of seriously ill people in the same room as me in Edinburgh and I also experienced the toilet smell of a very sick patient, albeit wearing pads rather than being able to use a comode. The nurses tried hard to discreetly spray an air freshener without causing offence to the lady concerned - I suppose you could only avoid this by paying for a private room?

I didn't have any problem with being given meds on time in that hospital (although I would not have had a clue if they were on time or not at that point as I had no idea what day it was, let alone what time) the only problem I had was on return to Aberdeen where I was left in a side room by the ambulance staff on the orders of the ward receptionist, staring at the bed and desperate to lie down on it as I was soooo tired & in soooo much pain after a 3 hour journey but expecting to be allowed home after assessment. Eventually, I was so desperate I climbed on the bed and promptly fell asleep. The problem with medication was never waiting to be given it but more trying to explain that I didn't want what was on offer as it had a very bad effect in the previous hospital.

I really do think these issues are related to individual hospitals (some are good, some are not) and perhaps you should raise a complaint with the health board of the one you were in if you feel there are problems that should be addressed so they have the chance to improve?

I hope you are doing well now that you are home,

Take care,

Michelle x

Edited by goldfish.girl
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No problem Dawn LOL.

Thanks Michelle for sharing - I don't want to make a complaint but I did want to find out if the types of incidences I've experienced were isolated -or whether a number of patients have had similar experiences. The overall level of nursing care was good but not great - say 6/10. Several nurses were great, most were good and a few performed below par. It's little things. When I went to Basingstoke I had the same problem of being made to wait 5.5 hours for pain medication - I was promised pain medication at 5.45pm and eventually got it at 11:15pm by which time I was in tears and in agony as it had been 12 hours since my last meds. I got it because I said I'd call my partner to bring in pain medication from home if they didn't have time to do it for me. They did it there and then. It's just disappointing.

I'm not sure if the nurses are under so much pressure and understaffed they don't have time - or whether some of them are just not good at their job and/or lazy or simply have an off day (as they're only human and we all have bad days at work). It would be good to get the real honest low down from everyone - because it feels so nasty to complain about what amounts to petty things (in some cases) when for the most part we are all so grateful for their help, and a good few of them have been brilliant.

I'm recovering really well following my SAH on 29 Jan - and hoping to return to work tomorrow for a few hours (well I'll try for 2-3 hours and go gently). I feel very lucky and I'm already down to around 4-6 paracetamol a day.

I guess I'm really looking more carefully at medical care not just because this has been my first hospital experience but because I realised back in November that my brother (who I was with when he died from stomach cancer) didn't have as good a level of care as I thought he would have had - so I'd like to really get to grips with what 'really' goes on in hospital - because it's hard to get an objective opinion from just my own families experiences.



Edited by snootybutnice
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I too was in southampton , HDU was awful as we never got spoken to by the nursing staff as most were in a far worse state than me & unconcious. Food was another thing that rarely happened in hdi as agian most people weren't up to eating.

I didn't have a buzzer in there so had to try & catch someones attention to come to me rather than buzz. They wouldn't take my cathete neurr out & when I hadn't been properly in 3 days (prob due to the lack of food) they gave me an enema (TMI) & then had to change me & the bed about four or five times by which time they were rather less pleased! They also spent about 2 hours trying to get a long line in to measure my bp because I was on steroids to raise my bp & increase the blood flow to my brain & in the end they had to put it in my left shoulder cos my veins elsewherewere too narrow. I had puncture marks on both hands & wrists for months afterwards & now have stitch scars on my shoulder from the long line going in.

D Neuro was much better but I kept asking to wash my hair & they wouldn't let me until about 10 days post op, they do have backwashes to do them on the bed but she couldn't find one so I sat with my head over the sink. I also had the catheter in whilst on there & it took some persauding to get them to take it out & let me use the commode. At night there were on 3 or 4 staff on & they would disappear for the commode & then someone else would buzz so I buzzed again & was told off by the nurse for doing so. I needed to go right now so it was the commode or change the bed!!

On the other side of things one day I was having a minor panic attack thinking I would never get home because my blood flow in my head was too high still & I jsut needed company so one of the nurses brought her files over to my table & sat with me & kept me company which was exactly what i needed. In general most care was fab (but not the showering for the first time on my own when they had been so careful not to let me do stuff too soon) & compared to what I had in QA when I was last in there it was far superior in terms of numbers etc.

Its hard when you are bed bound to seeanything good but I know I missed their care when I came home to absolutely nothing. Yes our tablets were late too, our meals were often late too. when they wake you at 6 for obs its a long time to 9am for brekkie & we had no toast as one of the nurses had blown the fuses in the kitche and yes in general the food was too but I am so glad to have had the excellent Mr Sparrow operate on me otherwise I woldn't be here

I think the staff on the neuro wards are under huge pressure & hugely understaffed, personally I found a lack of empathy to be a problem particularly in th younger nurse who may never have been in hospital themselves. We did suggest to some of them a day in a ilbed unable to get out for any reason should be a part of the training to make them understand how vulnerable a patienr is & how dependant on them we are, I think it gave them food for though :-)

Edited by bagpuss
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Such a shame your experience in hospital was not a good one - suffering SAH is traumatic enough but to not receive the care and attention whilst in hostpital just adds to the trauma.

I cannot complain about the care and attentioned i received whilst in hospital - I was in the John Radcliffe in Oxford and from the moment I arrived to the minute I left the care was A+.

My short stay in HDU was again without complaint - they even turned my bed round (causing all sorts of problems with the machinery I was wired to) so as i didn't have lights shining in my eyes (photosensitivity)

Once on the neuro unit I was lucky enough to have my own room which meant I could have my door closed to shut out the noises from the other rooms and corridor (constant bleeping of alarms) and could also have blinds down and lights off (became very photosensitive). Infact the nurses use to come into my room for the peace and quiet!

Once I got my appitite back the food was actually OK - I suppose if I wanted to find fault it would be with night staff - doing meds at silly o'clock and turning all the lights on in my room (ouch... bright light!!)

My bug bear is why didn't this high level care continue on discharge - but thats another thread!!

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Hi Bagpuss

Thanks for your feedback :-) It's good to know I'm not going mad with my thoughts/feelings about the care levels.

I totally agree with you that each nurse should have to spend time in hospital to get a good idea of what it's like to be there. I'd think a full day, night and then having to go through the discharge process (where you wait around for several hours to get your meds) would be perfect to give them a good understanding.

Re Food: I never mentioned this in my first post, but I found the food in Southampton generally "OK to good" ONCE I felt well enough... but for the most part the sauces were too rich and the thought of eating any of the meals turned my stomach. Consequently I didn't eat anything for the first 3 days - and asked my family to bring in some grapes and ordered/ate some dry cream crackers from the menu around day 4. After that I gradually ate more. I think they need a munch plate, with a few dry crackers, small piece of cheese, a few slices of apple/melon or grapes, plain boiled rice and a small amount of broth with a quarter triangle of bread - or some such thing!! I also didn't feel like coffee or tea - and it would have been good to have the option of a herbal tea.

Re Hair washing: Around day 4 I asked if I could wash my hair and the nurse said she'd try later - then I never heard from her again. Later that day I asked another nurse and she was far more helpful by explaining she didn't have time - but would TRY to do it before she left her shift, and told me about a special showercap that they use which I think is heated up in the microwave. You then put the showercap on and gently massage the steaming cap into your hair. I think it has some kind of shampoo in it - which you don't have to rinse afterwards. They use it for brain injured patients. The nurse never came back but the following day I asked another nurse if I could have this cap - and she brought it to me almost immediately (within half an hour!) and I finally got my hair sorted! It's a brilliant invention and I'm surprised they didn't do it for you either.

Hi Kaz

Thank for your feedback. It does sound like you had a better level of care where you were :-)

I empathise totally with the photophobia - I had this when I went to Basingstoke hospital following my Southampton stay, because I had hydrocephalus. The nurses put me in a bed (while waiting to go into a ward) directly opposite the main light - but in their defence they didn't have a choice (although it would have been nice if they'd have turned my bed around for me). Unfortunately even if you pull the curtains the curtain rail is not placed high enough to allow you to block out the light - but then again curtains are designed to give you privacy while allowing the nurses good light. I ended up using my flannel over my eyes to block the light out.

Nic xx

Edited by snootybutnice
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Maybe thats what she meant when she said you cN do it in bed? if it is then she never found it & I sat with a faceful of soap over the sink, luckily I was in a side room at that time so not in view of the whole ward, I even had an en suite but they wouldn't let me shower there. I really missed the bath, the one on D neuro wasn't plumbed in when I was there so that was the first thing I did when I got home.

Despite its flaws Wessex is a centre of excellence for brain injuries & I was so fortunate to be there. One of the girls in the bed next to was discharged to Winchester & she said it was awful as the nurses had no idea how to care for people having undergone brain surgery so i am thankful for the good nurses I had (Natasha, Zoika, Gill) & the efforts to keep things as restful as possible with the blinds being drawn for quiet time.

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Hello Nic,

Ummm a very interesting tread you've started!

I too was treated at the Wessex when I had my SAH 18 months ago.

I can't fault the wonderful Mr Sparrow and his team, I'd not be here if it wasn't for them, but I agree there are nursing issues.

I don't have much memory of the few days run up to my SAH or for about a week after, family and friends have filled in my memory gaps.

When I was in HDU they put my catheter in the wrong place (yes, you read that correctly) I ended up on anti biotics for a urine infection. I also ended up with a very bad tummy bug. Imagine coping with that having to use a bed pan and keeping totally flat. It was distressing and very uncomfortable and horrible not being able to clean yourself up properly. I'd cry in frustration. I don't remember eating in HDU. I was in a side room but one night they moved me to a ward with other patients as the Sister on duty said they would beable to keep a better eye on me.

After about a week I was moved to D Neuro. I was put on a ward with 2 men and 1 other lady. There was a young male who had been bought in with head injurys following a drunken fight, he kept sneaking out for a smoke so nurses would have to leave the ward to look for him.there was another man who clearly should have been on a special ward that dealt with mental health issues. He would rant, rave and get very abusive. He would go right up to other patients faces. Very scary. They got his family in for a meeting, not kidding there was about ten family members including loud noisy children running around and screaming. This man was also given one on one nursing 24hrs a day.

There were a few fantastic nurses, totally dedicated to their jobs.

I was desperately wanting a shower and hair wash, the nurse advised my family to bring in Johnsons baby shampoo and conditioner, which they did, this nurse helped me shower and washed my hair for me. It totally exhausted me and bless her she even combed through my mop of hair for me as I just didn't have the strengh to do it myself.

I was also very sensitive to the light, I'd pull the curtains around my bed, they'd pull them back. They told my family to bring me in sun glasses, uncomfortable to wear when your face and head are very swollen.

Being given meds very late was also common. One night they were hours late, I was screaming and crying in agony. I snapped at the nurse and she snapped back at me. She did come to say sorry later.

My cousin used to come in and help me at afternoon meal time as I didn't have the strength to cut up my food, I had very limited jaw movement. My hub would come and help me wash in the evenings, settle me for the night.

I was moved to a side room which I thought would be better, more peace and my own toilet. However I got forgotten a few times, changing bed linen, breakfast, meds etc.And that room was not cleaned at all in the 3 days I was in it.

I was glad to be sent home to continue my recovery. Lucky to have family doing my meds etc. And home visits from my GP

However, I'm lucky to still be here, and I cherish every day. I have my GP and the Wessex to thank for that.

Take care and keep smiling,

SarahLou Xx

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Hi Sarahlou

Wow - sounds like you had a really trying experience - and the catheter incident really added insult to injury. :crazy:

I do now firmly believe that you're initially best off in a ward with other people if you are really really poorly - as the other patients often look out for you during the times when the nurses miss you. I don't think I'd opt for my own room unless I was starting to recover or could move around unaided.

Do you remember that one of the BeeGees died in hospital in their own private room as it was so far away from all the medical equipment that could have saved him? When my brother went to John Radcliffe for his cancer treatment (think it was this one?!) he met up with one of the other brothers from the BeeGees having his cancer treatment at the same time. I think they learnt that private rooms mean nothing - you're just further away from medical equipment/nursing staffs. I'd previously been at the Hampshire Clinic for impacted wisdom teeth and found it brilliant, but when my brother stayed (and died) there, I realised when I stayed with him throughout the night how poor the treatment and care regime was for seriously ill patients. Had I known I would have made sure someone was with him every night.

I can totally empathise as well about being in so much pain you resorted to snapping at the nurse. I got snappy and I'm normally so laid back/understanding - but pain has a way of making you become more direct than you'd normally be. :devil:

I have to say that I think Southampton was better overall than Basingstoke for facilities/staffing - but Basingstoke had more simple food with less rich sauces which was better designed for those who didn't feel like eating. One of the interesting things in Southampton was the fact that they had a Caribbean menu (which British people not allowed to have as it costs more) as well as a Jewish menu. I find it strange that they don't offer everything to everyone - as well as stuff like grapes and other commonly eaten foodstuffs - but then just ask patients to make a small contribution towards things over and above the standard menu. It would help patients, give the hospital more money and would avoid some of the comments on the ward (half serious and half in jest) that it was racist to allow Caribbean people a menu but not open it out to other 'British' patients - because if they'd refused a Caribbean person the normal menu British menu, you could imagine the fuss!! :wink:

One of the girls who was opposite me in hospital had been to Winchester and Frimley and maintained that Southampton was the best she'd been to from those in the area (a young girl who had suffered several, quite debilitating, strokes).



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Hi Nic,

I agree with the food menu comments. Family and friends bought me in yoghurt and fruit, albeit very tiny pieces of cut up fruit!

No doubt before long they'll have Polish only menus etc.

I don't mean to sound as though I'm coming across as slating the NHS, we are so lucky to have it, it's kept, and continues to keep, my loved ones and I alive, but I do think there are staffing issues.


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There are certainly some similarities running through this thread already...

I was treated 'quite' well whilst in hospital, but yes it could have been better...

I started off at Hillingdon hospital and some of the nurses were lovely and some couldn’t have cared much less... one of the nurses was so nice, and gave me a cuddle when I was getting upset the night I found out that I would need an op.

The lights were too bright in there, but like someone else said; there was no use closing the curtains as they didn’t go high enough to shield the light... then there were visitors for other patients, late at night – lights back on, and the noise!?... awful...

The food wasn’t actually too bad at all.

I had my op at Charing Cross hospital, and whilst in ITU there was a large male nurse who bumped into the end of my bed every time he walked round to check my obs! This stressed me out but I just couldn’t work out what to say without being really rude, so stupidly I didn’t say anything...

When I was first able to stand up again in HDU 4 days after my op, I was struggling to hold myself upright with 2 hands, but I had a nurse stood there, arms folded, at the end of the bed asking why I wasn’t able to wash myself... she had got me a bowl of water and I had my flannel on the side, but I couldn’t let go of the chair with either hand as I was holding myself up! She then ripped my catheter out of me as I stood there... and I was then crying with her barking at me “why are you crying? What are you crying for?” She then went to get the ward sister who kept questioning me too... but I couldn’t even answer... I didn’t have the energy to explain. The original nurse finally helped me have a quick wash; well a very quick and rough wash!! (all I kept thinking was: 5 letters, starts with b and ends with an itch :mad: ).

The food at Charing X was about 80% okay during my 7 day stay, although a little help here and there to feed me whilst lying flat would have been good!

When I was transferred back to Hillingdon I was put in a ward with 5 much older ladies. My family and I asked about 3 nurses for a jug of water for me and it took nearly 2 hours to get it. I then started getting a headache after a couple of hours, as it was about 95 degrees in the ward, and I asked for paracetamol. They couldn’t give me any as they were waiting for my med chart from Charing X... I then started getting a migraine and all they could get me was a cold wet towel to put over my head (i asked for this specifically, in lieu of tablets!). I didn’t get any meds for about 8-9 hours, and I should have been taking nimodipine every 4 hours, plus paracetamol and tramadol for the headaches... I had to shuffle along the corridors at midnight looking for a nurse to get my meds, as it was scaring me that I hadn’t taken them, and I was in a helluva lot of pain too!! The buzzers were wrapped up about 4 foot above the beds, so very difficult for anyone to get to (let alone elderly patients) without kneeling on the bed, which is what I had to do at 2am when Doris next to me was screaming for a nurse and no-one came... I was going to discharge myself the next day had they not discharged me! I didn’t want to die in there, and I felt that could have happened...

Kel x

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I cannot remember much...but my hubby and daughter would not leave me unattended in hospital.

In my dreamlike state I was chased by someone with a pipe....I like SLou had catheter infection it burnt me....

I do think the surgeon was good..but being in coma and having blood poisoning, Ventriculitus....Well I guess I am lucky to be alive !!

the surgeon came to see me and had to tell nurses not to let my bedsores go to a 4..whatever that is on scale....?

The nurses/carers jumped when the surgeon was on his rounds....as I have said before my daughter said to nurse./carers

."scuse me but I think my Mums catheter is full"....

The carer/ nurse said l'll be over in a while" as my daughter walked away...The nurse/carer said Jeezus"....and tutted

It was bad enough for my family going through this without having Carers and Nurses seeming non caring !!!

I must say my daughter said not all nurses/carers were like that....but a few tarnish the reputation of good caring nurses/carers.

My daughter didn't want me left with the bad carers/ nurses. ..or ones that have no feelings for fellow human beings..........one women was fed a spoonful...she was out of it ....nurse /carer wrote did not want it .on her chart.

I believe my husband and daughter and I am so glad I had them on my side

Love to All

WinB143 xxxxxxxxxxx

Edited by Winb143
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My goodness, I'm quite shocked at some of these stories. I was first taken to my local hospital, where I worked as a secretary, and was treated by my colleagues. I can only say my treatment was second to none and if it weren't for the doctor who did my admission on the ward, I wouldn't be as well as I am. He phoned Edinburgh Western for advice, as he suspected a SAH, and they told him to treat me for a SAH until it was proved that it wasn't and not to the other way around. The nurse that was looking after me even got a pillow case, rolled it up and tucked it over my eyes, to keep out the light, when I was sent for a CT scan.

I was transferred to Edinburgh Western the next day. I found the staff wonderful. I was very poorly and needed a nurse by my bedside 24 hours. The consultant told me that he was on stand by if I deteriorated. I wasn't well enough to be coiled until 3 days after admission to Edinburgh, as they needed to stabilise me first. I had a nurse with me 24 hours for 12 days, so my meds were always given on time. I still got my meds on time when I was eventually moved to another room and no longer needed a nurse by my bed. Even after bed baths the nurse lathered me in my moisturiser, made sure I had my antiwrinkle cream on (lol the vanity!) and sprayed me with my perfume. They said it was all part of making me feel better. My family commented on the standard of care being given and said that allowed them to worry less when they left me.

I was aware how busy these nurses were. The elderly gentleman in the bed next to me had quite a few tubes coming out from his head and he kept pulling them out and trying to get out of bed. The lady across from me kept having little seizures and her mood kept getting worse. She would shout at everyone to get out of her house and her language was very colourful!

I suffered my SAH in February and the charge nurse told me that February and October are 'aneurysm season' and they are very busy with patients who have suffered a SAH. Something to do with air pressure changes. So neuro units do have exceptionally busy times but why go into nursing if you can't be compassionate. But surely it's poor organisation if meds are consistently being given late.

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Liz - It's extremely interesting that the two people who have been the MOST positive about their experience in a hospital ward have been from Scotland (see post 3). I wonder if this trend continues...?! I never heard about an 'aneurysm season' being February and October. Mine was end of January so it would roughly fit in. mmmm... I love that they moisturised you after the bed bath - I just got a very ticked off nurse telling me off because I said I needed to go the loo afterwards LOL.

Kel - Poor you - I am not surprised you tried to high tail it out so quickly. Your care was clearly so below par that i hardly know what to say - there is nothing that can be said really as it is deplorable :-( - but sadly I'm not shocked. Big hugs xx

Winb143 - I'm told that doctors are now finding they have to "prescribe" food and water on patient notes because there were cases of patients getting severely dehydrated etc as the nurses weren't properly checking that they were eating and drinking. (Although I don't know which hospital...all rather vague but held up as being true - and I wouldn't be surprised at all).



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I'm in Canada so most of you won't know the hosp I was at. For the most part care was good but there was something strange that stuck with me. When food was delivered to me no one checked to see if I ate it. I had no appetite. I didn't visit the loo or need a bedpan or have any tubes for 14 hours. It was as if my body went into some kind of frozen state. And no one asked for 14 hours. When the nurse finally asked I still didn't really have to go but she insisted I try. Back to the food, it would be delivered (no menu, just a plate of whatever or jello) and it was so unappetizing and I was nauseous anyway so I didn't eat. But nobody checked. The tray would be picked up and off it went. I wonder how long a person could go before anyone noticed they weren't eating. On the day I was being discharged my husband brought me takeout food but I think I was so drugged up I just wasn't hungry.

Sandi K.

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I was in stafford at first and the only half decent thing about that place was the food. I hve vowed never to go back there for any op ever. They kept saying I had a hangover from the Saturday to the Wednesday when they did a lumbar punture and found blood in it. I was then transferred to stoke thank god where my treatment really improved. In stafford they did make sure I had a full jug of water by my bed however I couldn't drink any cause I was lying down and they wouldn't give me a cup with a lid or anything. That alĺ changed in stoke the nurses said how dehydrated I was and gave me a kind of baby beaker that I could drink out of after I had first been on a drip putting fluids inside me. So the first hospital was rubbish other than the food so at least they have got something going for them shame it ain't the care as it should be seeing as it is supposed to be a hospital. Jess.xxx

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Wessex were very good at keeping the jugs filled up & watching it we ate although no help was given so if you were unable to eat that was it. we were expected to drink 3litres of water a day & the reminders were constant which meant I wore a goove into the floor from my bed to the loo as I don't drink much normally. They were also very good a quiet time & the lights at night were down low, I had a tummy bug in there hence having the side room for a few days but never found out what it was & as far as I was aware it was never treated.

It's true that we had to go & find nurse for other patients who were unable to get out of bed but that happened to me in QA when I was in there, I spent some time on the stoma ward & that was really unpleasent when a bag was changed!

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I have no complaints at all about the Wessex. My time in ICU and HDU is a bit hazy and D Neuro a bit less so, but overall I felt that the level of care was fantastic. Basingstoke, on the other hand was different. My diagnosis was mismanaged when I was first admitted to the ED there and when I returned there from Southampton it was as if I wasn't their patient so why should they care? A horrible experience. I did have a little "holiday" in Basingstoke hospital a couple of years later and the experience was a lot better, although the nurses were rushed off their feet and working very long shifts.

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Hi All,

My surgeon put me in ICU and I was moved to HDU but then I was put on normal ward because hospital was so busy...Surgeon said what is she doing in here....so I guess thats where hospitals fall down...too many carers and not enough nurses.....and no spaces????

But we must all keep smiling and getting better and we are the lucky ones

Love to all


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Thanks Winb :-)

Bed shortages: That's the only reason I came out of Southampton so soon really after my SAH - a few days after I was moved out of HDU they spoke about transferring me to Basingstoke - but Basingstoke had no beds available and so after 3 days on their waiting list, I spoke to the consultants at Southampton and convinced them to discharge me... (mainly so I could get a good night sleep without constant interruptions to help me get better quicker!).

Basingstoke definitely had bed shortages. It makes you wonder how they manage when they have multiple RTA's etc if they are running so low. What happens when there's an unexpected major catastrophe? It's strange that our local hospital is now so over-subscribed it can't take 1 SAH patient. I wish I really knew what was happening with our healthcare service. When I had to go to Basingstoke Hospital to sort out hydrocephalus 2 weeks ago, I was waiting 5 hours before they got me a bed (and an hour later I got a pillow!).



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Well I was admitted to the hospital quite quickly. I got my first CT scan within an hour.

There was something there but they couldnt really identify it so I needed a lumar puncture.

The Dr on staff tried 4 times but failed to draw any fluid.

I had an IV drip in and was given pain killers and medication to reduce my blood pressure. It was elevated probably due to the pain more than hypertension, although I do take meds for that.

At first I was allowed to go to stand to go pee untill a nurse put a stop to that. I never did care for peeing while laying down.

The next morning I got anothe lumbar puncture, this time they took 4 vials of fluid. (I later read up why they need to take so much)

After finding blood in the CSF I was scheduled to be transfered to a regional hospital for a cerebral angiogram.

There was a wait for that. 4 more days. In the mean time I was in ER on a gurney, no bed. I was given the odd ice chip to eat and morphine for the pain. The reason I could not have any food was in case they needed to do surgery.

On day 5 we made it the 100 km journey by ambulance to the regional hospital. I was at the hospital about 4 hours before the test, there were cases which were more serious than mine.

After the angiogram the neurosurgeon visited me, this is the only time I talked to him other than signing the surgery waiver, He said there were no aneurisms and there was little chance of reoccurance.

After a few hour wait for the artery to heal they sent me back by ambulance to the ER where I started. Still no bed.

The only sponge bath I had in the entire stay in the hospital was by my wife.

I was at least allowed to eat something now.

Oh by the way I am diabetic and had to remind the staff to test my bloog from time to time.

So I was given breakfast.... an approriate title for the meal after no food for 5 days.... So breakfast was cream of wheat, toast, apple juice. Not the best foods for a diabetic.

No worries I was going home.

I had a hard time kick starting my digestive system. It took me a few days before things started getting back to normal.

Actually on the Saturday after my discharge I got sick after a piece of toast. My head was hurting so we called the ambulance.

They were there in a flash. I live less than a block from the hospital but admittance is much quicker when taken by ambulance, well worth the $82.

This time I hit a couple of stumbling blocks. a packed ER. I was admitted to a waiting room. It took ages for me to get in to an observation room. The minute I sat in the chair, the nurse gave me a shot. I sat down again and someone was taking me to get a CT scan, This was bizzare, they ran ahead and I stumbled , literally behind them, the pain killer was kicking in, no wheel chair. I grabbed a rialing and eventually I caught up.

After the CT scan I was lead back to the observation room, but now someone else was in it. I found my wife who was now sitting in a waiting room they had sent her there to wait for me.

Well nothing new on the CT scan, the sickness was from eating the toast when I hadnt eaten for all that time. So I was discharged, a little poorer but a whole lot wiser.

No really wiser I still had no idea what really happened, other than a brain bleed. I found out way more stuff here.... glad to be home

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I dont remember any of my time in the hospital at all either the general hospital or rehab hospital but dont think there was any complaints....

or maybe just what everyone experiences the lack of info when you get disscharged.

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