"Private Hospital posing as an NHS Hospital"

About: Bmi - The Ridgeway Hospital

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I have been using the Ridgway Hospital since 1988, always as a private patient and have had 9 procedures carried out since then, both as a day-care and in-patient (longest stay 5 days). Unfortunately since accepting NHS patients the standards have gone down, if you closed your eyes it would appear to be a small NHS hospital. I have no quarrel with the nursing staff or consultants. However the lead time for the very minor operation I had was 3 weeks. Tea and coffee in the reception area is via a vending machine. You are told to take paperwork from one reception area to another. When I asked for a cup of tea for my visiting husband he was told to go and get it from the reception. No mention on the menu for availability for Visitors. The breakfast menu came to my room with no milk for my coffee and no jam or marmalade for my toast. on privious visits eggs were included in the breakfast menu. You certainly never walked to the operating theatre. Gowns provided might as well belong to the NHS, ties missing and back open. Dressing gowns used to be provided now you have to bring your own. A lovely private hospital has been ruined. If funds are required by taking NHS patients, this should not be to the detriment of the private paying patients. Bear in mind that most private patients pay twice - once through their NI and again either from their own funds or from private insurance, which these days is very expensive. The building, although smartened up recently is badly in need of air conditioning, the lack of this is not only uncomfortable for the patients, it must make working conditions intolerable for the staff.

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Response from Bmi - The Ridgeway Hospital

We are sorry to read this review, which is not the feedback we would wish for. We are pleased to be able to offer quality care to both NHS and private patients and make every effort to ensure our standards remain consistent. Tea and coffee are offered to our Outpatients via a free vending service, to ensure it is available in a timely fashion as we endeavour to keep our waiting times to a minimum. I was disappointed to learn that your husband was asked to collect refreshments from Main Reception; our Ward/Day Care Waitresses/Waiters are very happy to provide coffee/tea tray service to the patients rooms and all staff have been reminded of this. The inaccuracy of your catering order is of concern and this has been discussed with the catering team. We encourage patients to walk to theatre as this promotes independence, which in turn aides post operative recovery; to maintain privacy during the transfer and throughout their stay we encourage that dressing gowns are brought into the hospital. Your comment relating to the gown provided has been brought to the attention of our laundry; checks are made of linen before used be patients and I would like to sincerely apologise that these checks did not identify shortfalls with yours. We acknowledge your comment in relation to the need for air conditioning and recognise this to be ideal; this will continue to be considered during any future refurbishment plans.

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