"Lack of decent nursing care and poor cleaning..."

About: University Hospital (Coventry)

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I spent two periods in this hospital and found it lacking in several areas. The staff were often rude to patients, especially those with dementia and Alzheimer's and the nurses not very professional in their care and treatment of patients. Many nurses spent a long time chatting and laughing at the nurses station and when anyone buzzed for help, they were ignored. At night nursing staff shouted over patients beds and cared not a jot that ill people were trying to sleep. I saw many nurses argue with people with dementia and most never bothered to feed or give drinks to these patients. I ended up feeding two elderly ladies as no one else was caring for them. A lot of the treatment was slapdash and shoddy. I was pretty shocked by the nurses lack of care and compassion, yet they had time to mess around and act very unprofessionally. The care of patients seems to have gone out of the window. Cleaning providers took a lot of time wiping areas that didn't matter, but didn't wipe door handles or finger plates, cupboards door handles etc and even the TV/phone and internet consoles were not cleaned between patients. Nurses disinfected mattresses but only a few did the same to pillows when preparing a bed for a new patient. No wonder germs and bugs spread! When my dad was admitted no one on the switchboard would answer my call to find out where he was. The telephone was put down on me three times and twice when put through to wards. I was switched from one ward to another as no one knew where he was and finally I found him on the first ward I was put through to. The lack of good manners and politeness was unbelievable. My father was very ill and no one cared and their answer was to disconnect the call! Generally this hospital needs a good shake up and medical should be trained to be compassionate and disciplined.

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Response from University Hospital (Coventry)

Thank you for providing recent feedback on the care your father received at University Hospital, Coventry in August 2011. I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with the experience, that you felt that there was a lack of professionalism and care on the ward from the nursing staff and of your concerns on cleanliness. Your comment doesn’t contain any patient identifiable information so I cannot look at the ward in question; however we have done a lot of work around the care of patients with dementia. Last year we introduced the Forget-Me-Not challenge to improve the care for those who are in need of a little extra support and reassurance, especially those with dementia. The campaign wants to ensure high-quality care and support is given to patients with dementia and that early diagnosis is made to allow for early intervention. When piloted this was very successful as it reminded staff that some patients may need extra help eating and drinking or may need repeated reassurances so that they are familiar with the environment. We have received lots of positive feedback from relatives who feel comforted that staff are being made aware that their loved one is confused and so may need extra support in smaller tasks. In relation to cleaning and cleanliness, we now have competency coaches being trained on every ward. Their remit is based around infection control precautions and they are educated in the importance of good and thorough cleaning. We have a bed process check list which includes all areas that nurses must ensure are cleaned when a patient is discharged, this includes mattress and pillows. We also have a dedicated infection prevention and control team member who works closely with the ward staff and monitors and educates staff. Our efforts have resulted in the Trust reducing the number of Clostridium difficile (C. Diff) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cases each year since 2008. The Trust switchboard receives around 8000 calls a day and has a queuing system for incoming calls. All calls are answered in the order that they are received, sometimes wards can be busy but our switchboard will give the direct line for the ward if they can’t get through. Your experience of being passed around does fall short of what we would expect and I am sorry for this. Nevertheless, we would still very much welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact our PALS Team on 0800 028 4203. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is feedback@uhcw.nhs.uk Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address: - Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, University Hospital, Clifford Bridge Road, Coventry, CV2 2DX If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Communications Team University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust Tel: 0800 028 4203

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