I CAN’T imagine what it is like to press the bedside buzzer in hospital because you desperately needed the loo.

I find it even harder to imagine waiting and waiting 30 minutes to no avail until you soil the bed. And I can’t think of the frustration and emotional distress that occurs when someone comes a few minutes later only to arrive too late.

And on top of that the distress caused to my friend who was upset because the partner was upset.

And then the cleaning up process began; an event which could so easily have been avoided if someone had just come when the buzzer first started ringing.

Dishearteningly, this was the story that a friend told me had just happened to their partner on one of our wards at the Royal.

The patient wasn’t confused or even incontinent; they just had to go to the loo.

It is not a big ask. When I was nursing it was classed as one of the “activities of daily living” that nurses had to see to.

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Now you know I am normally overwhelmingly positive because there is so much good done in this hospital. But this event has brought out my gloomy side.

Why? Because that could have been my wife, or daughter, or friend. I just hate the thought of the loss of dignity that was caused by someone not doing their duty.

It might be as well to ask why this happened? Was the ward understaffed? No I don’t think so. Was there a crisis going on that meant nurses and healthcare assistants were deployed elsewhere?

No. So why wasn’t the buzzer answered?

The answer is that I just don’t know. But my guess is that someone just did not bother enough. What is the point of having a buzzer if it is not going to be answered?

What is the point of nursing if you fail to deliver the very basic care for your patient?

I’m cross. Cross that the reputation of our hospital has been damaged by this; cross because a patient’s needs were not prioritised.

I will ask a few questions and find out what happened.

Let us hope that it is only an isolated case – but even if one patient has to go through this, it is one too many.

And remember colleagues, it could be your wife, husband or partner.