Care made me proud to have been a nurse
As a recently retired senior nurse respon- sible for monitoring standards of patient care in a large foundation trust hospital, I have been reading with growing concern the examples of poor patient care in hospitals and care homes around the country.
I feel that I must comment on the excellent care my 87-year- old mother-in-law received on Ward 70 at Hull Royal Infirmary where she stayed for five weeks in June last year following a collapse at home.
My husband and I were very pleasantly surprised and delighted that over the five weeks she was in the care of the elderly ward we experienced a dynamic, professional and caring approach to her various ailments (dehydration, pneumonia, anaemia, confusion and mobility problems). The care was delivered in a very friendly, professional and informed manner by cheerful, hardworking staff.
We found the ward spotless, with housekeepers and cleaners ever present maintaining the patient areas. There were always doctors around to discuss issues with. Nursing staff who were doing their paperwork at quiet times were quite happy to be interrupted and very helpful.
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Trained nurses, care assistants and student nurses alike were all very well informed about the patient's conditions and would spontaneously come and tell us about my mother-in- laws progress.
It was lovely to see the friendly nursing staff routinely walking around asking patients how they were, chatting to them and talking to relatives (just as it should be).
My mother-in-law could be a challenging patient as at the age of 87, this was her first time as an inpatient. However, despite being somewhat difficult when she was recovering, she was always treated with respect and dignity, and if there were any problems with her moods or attitude the nurses and physiotherapists made a point of explaining to us how they had handled the situation.
Mealtimes were protected as advised by government guidelines as best practice and this was strictly adhered to. As my mother-in-law was underweight due to her not eating before she was admitted, she had a nutritional plan which the nurses encouraged us to be involved in.
This culture of care and the overall good management of that ward make me proud to have been in the nursing profession and I think that lessons can be learned from the leadership.
Our good experience continues with East Yorkshire Primary and Community Care now that my mother-in-law is back at home with carers visiting her three times a day. Social services have also been very supportive to both my mother-in-law and us. We live 240 miles away and although we visit her on average every week, there were occasional difficulties sometimes to communicate between different agencies involved in her care.
Her key worker for the elderly care team has taken a lot of stress away from us by being so caring and helpful in organising changes in care packages, communicating with other agencies and reporting back to us via email or phone, opinions, options and decisions regarding care planning.
We hope this example of our experience of good practice in patient care is shared with others and goes a little way to prove there are healthcare leaders who have got it right by building a culture of dignified care undertaken by dedicated, informed and happy staff.
Mrs G Lewis,