Coreys Mill Lane, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, SG1 4AB
My father had major surgery with a one week stay in ward 8B North. The ward and toilets were absolutely filthy. The ward was thick with dust under and behind the beds and one morning the men's (patient) toilet in the ward was streaked with blood on the seat and in the bowl which was still there 6 hours later, and the toilet floor was always covered in urine by the toilet. Despite reporting this at the first sighting no cleaning took place until approximately 7 hours later. Only a few of the nurses were good but it all depended on who was on what shift and who was drawn in from other wards to support. Some other nurses were clearly under pressure and this showed through by a negative attitude and behaviour. I witnessed similar behaviours from some of the doctors in SAU and those doing their rounds on ward 8B North. Patients and their family should not have to witness these pressures. We experienced a number of administrative errors at this hospital with incorrect information recorded on the system relating to surgery detail, handovers and lack of communication relating to issues found with blood tests & urine tests resulting in a lack of appropriate medical action being taken in a timely manner. Multiple nurses kept missing my fathers swollen hand and arm due to IV fluids leaking in to the tissue instead of correctly flowing in to the vein. I had to keep prompting the nursing staff to address the issue, my father was at risk of necrosis as this issue was happening too frequently and was left for too long each time before a doctor was called in each time to re-cannualte. My father now has nerve compression with loss of sensation in his hand and this will take approx. 2 months for the feeling to come back. The Lister is seriously underfunded and under resourced and this blatantly shows through to patients and their family which is totally unacceptable. I live in London and have dealings with Guy's hospital which is a top performing hospital under the NHS. I cannot understand how the Lister is in the poor state that it is in. It really is time for change, and this hospital needs the right top team to look at processes, funding and resource to start turning things around as patients lives are ultimately at risk.
I have been to casualty and the neighbouring departments a few times over the last few years as a patient and relative. A&E is really hit and miss, more often than not miss. It does not seem to make any difference whether the department is busy or not (you can tell by the buzz and movement of staff how busy things are). One thing you can guarantee is that it is dirty. During my last stay in a casualty holding department I told a staff nurse the toilet in the bay I was in had no soap, overflowing sanitary bin and overflowing paper towel bin, she said the cleaner would sort it out. 12 hours later I saw a cleaner make a feeble attempt of sweeping up the debris under my bed. My husband said in casualty there was a collection of dirty sweepings that were left there the whole time we were in the department, over 6 hours. A staff nurse dropped a plastic cover for the probe to take temperatures taking my temperature, she noted she dropped it but just left it on the floor. Lack of cleanliness must be an organisational culture issue. Some of the in patient and A&E medical staff including senior medical staff e.g. consultants are polite and some are just rude bullies. Some customer service training in bed side manner would not go amiss in this trust. Staff often look sloppy. Food not the best. Catering staff should visit some other trusts locally on how to cook and serve hot tasty food.
I am also a patient in the Nephrologist clinic and at my last appointment in April I was informed I had a kidney function of 18 GFR and I needed to be referred to the Renal Liaison staff who I saw straight after - they give you a leaflet with their contact details and a list of websites to look at informing you of your condition and decisions you have to make regarding transplant and dialysis and then they send you away to await your next appointment - traumatized by what you have just been told. And despite my attending the clinic for the past two years and on average every three months it has been a shock to me to be given this news as my letters did not inform me of my steady decline and no doctor showed concern or advised me of this. It therefore be my suggestion that all patients are informed when they reach stage 3/4 of future expectations.
I was on ' Ward 8A south ' , I have to say that all the nurses were great especially one called 'Nichole ' I think ( give her a pay rise !. ) . The ward was cleaned every day , all the nurses were attentive and understanding , some more than others of course , depending on your needs . I was seen by several doctors over my 4 day stay and all were very reassuring although each had a different view on what was wrong with me !!!. . It was only the final doctor that saw me appeared to have the correct diagnosis , but he was a consultant so I guess he should know . My only gripe was the food , I had 1 x good meal ( roast chicken & spuds etc ) , it was what I would have at home . However , All the other meals were very unpalatable and totally unappetising . Breakfast is cereal & bread !! , I asked for toast , was told they can't do toast only bread & jam / marmalade ! Consequently I never had breakfast and just had a coffee !. In my humble opinion , why doesn't this hospital reduce the variety on offer and then make better meals that patients will / want to eat , leading to the patient getting better quicker !!! , it's not rocket science , Jamie Oliver proved it can done at Harlow I think . And why not get a commercial tosaster for each ward so patients can get a 'hot' ish breakfast ??? . I'm sure a manufacturing company could provide these at a substantial Discount for the NHS . Having meals like this is a waste , patients order there meals and then leave it when it arrives or only eat a small portion of it . . Offer less variety , put the money saved into BETTER meals , win win scenario , . I'm fully aware it's not as easy as I'm suggesting but , hey , a toaster for breakfast !!.