Edit, Apr 13th 2008: my friend who witnessed this awful bullying reported it to the hospital once she was readmitted to another ward. The nurses on her new ward took her complaint very seriously and talked her through the procedure for launching a formal complaint. She has done so. The first step is for Ipswich Hospital to launch an 'internal investigation' and report their findings back to her. It has been over a month and she has not heard more than an acknowledgment of her complaint. I will ask her for a further update soon but it seems the hospital is in no hurry to check or change its procedures.
Original post follows:
This is an absolutely true story that my friend just posted:
Honestly, I have never witnessed anything so f*cking awful
I have got some sort of infection going from my throat, all down my neck, my glands are huge, my ear is agony. I was put on antibiotics yesterday but today I have literally not eaten and bearly drank a thing as swallowing is too painful. My face is so fat it is mad!! I am in agony, feel like my face is going to explode
Anyway, went back to my doc today who sent me up to an ENT ward this evening to be assessed as he is not very sure what is going on
I got in there and was greeted with a very unfriendly attitude and shown to my bed. I was sitting there waiting when this very frail old lady in the bed opposite started shouting for help. Absolutely no reaction from the student nurse or staff nurse in the room. She called again. Still no reaction. (they were not busy, they were chatting to each other). The old lady called again, crying. Then this little b*tch of a student nurse rolled her eyes at this poor lady and put her finger to her mouth and told her to shhh. I was like this: shock.This little old lady looked so uncomfortable, she had a thin sheet only just maintaining her dignity and was looking like she'd fall out of bed. She called again and the student nurse this time practically shouted at her to shhh. She then started talking to another patient, very loudly saying "I bet you didn't get a wink of sleep last night with that stupid woman": shock.The patient seemed to be lapping it up saying she didn't and it was awful blah blah. The SN was saying "she doesn't stop calling and shouting all day, she is doing everyones head in". I sat there is disbelief. This little old lady started calling for help again, she was clearly shivering and in alot of distress and the SN said to her "Look, you are fine. I'm not coming to you again" and walked out of the ward". Another SN came in and the lady called for help again and this stupid nurse said in a cruel voice "Daisy, you are alright". This old lady clearly was not. She started calling again and again saying she was so cold
She had just had an operation (not sure where) but her pillows looked like they were about to break her neck and there was a big thick blanket covering an arm. She called for help when the SN came in again and the old lady said "Please, just help me move this heavy blanket, it is hurting me". The SN pulled it off her roughly and went very close to her face and shouted "Will you be quiet", then she roughly gave her a pair of slippers and said "Just play with these". She walked off, rolling her eyes again
Pathetic or not, I was almost in tears at this point. I was sat up on my bed watching it, obviously horrified.
The student nurse walked out of the ward and the little old lady was
crying. She was clearly very confused and very fragile. I actually was
in tears and rightly or wrongly I went over to her and asked her what
she wanted me to do to help. She didn't know who I was, but smiled at
me, so relieved to see a kind face. I got her sat up in bed and arranged her pillows, covered her up. In the corner of my eye I
saw the SN come in and walk straight out, and with that a bitch staff
nurse walked in and demanded to know what I was doing. I was in tears
and said "I have worked in this hospital and I have never ever in my
life here, or in my care work before, seen a patient treated so badly."
I said "This lady is in obvious distress and she has been shouted at,
roughly handled, teased, patronised and totally and utterly ignored by
at least 3 members of staff when she is desperately crying for help."
The staff nurse started raising her voice at me telling me I have no
right to help another patient and I said that I am afraid I do when I
have sat there for 20 minutes and witnessed all of this. She looked at
the clock and said "You have only been here for 15 minutes." I can't
rmemeber what else she said but she was giving me the most filthy
looks, patronising me and basically not taking any account of what I
saw. She then said "That lady is very confused, she has gone on and on
all day". She said it like it was an excuse to treat the lady in that
way. I said "That does not make what I have seen excusable. I have
worked with elderly people many many times as a carer, and I would
never treat someone like that, confused, demanding, hard work or not".
Then the staff nurse said "if you let me speak I will bleep the doctor to come and see you and i will come back with the student to do your BP and temp". She said "If you want to make a witness statement then do so but it won't get you anywhere, i am the registered nurse and i guarentee you won't be listened to, your word against ours."
I am afraid with that I got up and walked out on my way saying "I am definately not staying here to be treated by the likes of you".
Honestly, I have never seen anything like it but I probably look like a hormonal twat. That poor lady, she was so happy I helped her and looked so comfortable after I sorted her out and I just could not bear to see her be treated like that. I cannot bear to think of her going through the last of her dayslike that, I am crying my eyes out. She was obviously at deaths door and I can't bear it.
And now me, I have not had a drink since lunch time as I literally cannot swallow and my face is so swollen on the right side...I am in serious agony. I have just taken some codeine phosphate that I have left from after my caesarian
I can't go back in there, not on my life would I stay in that ward or in there
All those staff in there were in collusion at treating this lady so badly (and they were about to start on an old man was was calling for help too). It was honestly like it was a game to them and that these student nurses had total permission to treat her like that
I honestly feel sick thinking about her in there
ETA...I forgot to say when I first arrived, I saw the lady trying to ask for her sandwich to be passed, and one of those hospital tea ladys picked it up and threw it in the bin saying she had had ages to eat it. I was shocked butI'd just arrived and wasn't aware this was an obvious case of bullying at that point