LAST WEEK, we reported how a patients' survey to be published next week will rank Croydon University Hospital as the second worst in the country. Today, our columnist Laura Carter – a recently-qualified nurse who has worked at CUH during her three years of training – pens her impassioned defence of the hospital, while you also share your experiences – good and bad – of being treated there...
FOR nearly five years I have worked in the hospital formerly known as Mayday and unfortunately still referred to by some as 'May-die'. I have worked in Outpatients, in A&E and on a number of wards. My mum trained there as a nurse and works there too. I was born there, my sister was born there, my relatives have been treated there, and I have been treated there. Croydon University Hospital truly is my second home and as a nurse, patient and relative it breaks my heart to see its reputation in such a sad state.
Night and day my colleagues work their absolute hardest to provide the best possible care for patients. They come in early, they stay late and they miss their breaks in order to make sure that everything is done and documented as it should be.
To say that everyone who works at Croydon University Hospital does not care is simply unfair and untrue. Yes there are problems, but solutions to these do not come overnight. No hospital is perfect, but given the abuse that has taken place in other organisations, I certainly do not believe that we are the second-worst in the country.
Of course there is absolutely no excuse for bad care; dignity, respect and good manners cost nothing. But it is becoming harder and harder to deliver the good care that people deserve when you are constantly under pressure to meet targets, save money and take on more work; when there is just too much to do.
It's not that compassion and care has been lost, merely that there just is not enough time to really show it. This problem is not unique to Croydon; it is widespread across the whole of the health service. There has never been a more difficult time to work for the NHS. The last few months have been particularly challenging with the publishing of the Francis report and the biggest reforms that the NHS has ever seen. It's not just Croydon University Hospital in turmoil, it is entire professions. Nurses in particular have been vilified and attacked like never before.
It is incredibly demoralising when people consistently put down where you work and the work that you do when they often do not understand just how hard it can be. So on behalf of all the nurses, doctors, therapists, pharmacists, porters and cleaners of the NHS who give everything they can 24 hours a day, seven days a week; please don't tar us all with the same brush. We are all doing the best that we can.