"It is about the staff not the hospital"

About: University Hospital (Coventry)

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I suffer from a chronic bowel disease for which I was admitted several times in the past few years to what was called 'Walsgrave hospital' and became 'university hospital Coventry'. I was seen by a specialist on at the university hospital Coventry on 24th July 2013 and based on how ill I was he referred me to the A&E as the ward special for bowel problems patients was full. I was severely dehydrated, losing weight rapidly and was not able to eat. I was left in a cubicle at the A&E for several hours waiting with no water and no bell to call the nurse or anybody. eventually, I was seen by a doctor who was very abrupt and knew nothing about 'patient's dignity' as he examined me with the door open and my legs bare facing the door where a male porter was stood. I kept asking that porter to close my door or to call the nurse but he kept staring at me. A nurse passed my door twice and surely she heard me shouting 'nurse!' but still ignored me. Eventually, I was sent to the observation ward. The night shift nurse was excellent and she was spot on time changing my drip bags when they needed to. In the morning, at about 7, I asked for something to eat and I was told that breakfast was on the way. It was 08:50 when a man came to my room asking me whether I wanted 'cereals OR toast and jam' and ' tea or coffee'. I was shocked to hear the question. So basically, a patient can no longer ask for both cereals and toast. I asked for toast. The man disappeared for a couple of minutes and was back with a little saucer with two slices of toast on top of each other and on the top two packets of butter and jam. a miserable cold tea cup was put next to it. Obviously, the man did not know and/or someone did not tell him about hygiene and that toast could be contaminated by the butter and jam packets. I did not touch the food and showed to the nurse and to the doctor who later came to see me and they all agreed that the standard of the food was appalling. I asked the doctor to give me medication to take home as I insisted on discharging myself. That was at 10am. my husband was to collect my medication in the evening. However, it took the ward three days to make part of my medication available. They said it is the pharmacy's fault. I made it clear that I was going to complain. A few days later, I was admitted again to the A&E and again with no bell to call the nurse. However, there was a dedicated doctor, smiley nurses and several cleaners around. One lady cleaner was saying that she left some dirt on the floor for 'good luck'. Another cleaner managed to leave all corners dirty in the toilet and all the ... around the toilet rim.. no brush no detergents. Later that day after i was discharged home, I received a text message on my mobile phone asking me whether I 'would recommend the university hospital to family and friends'! Certainly not.

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Response from University Hospital (Coventry)

Thank you for providing feedback on your visit to the Emergency Department and Ward 12 at University Hospital, Coventry in July 2013. Whilst you have highlighted that the care from the night staff on the observation ward was excellent, I am very sorry to hear that overall you were unhappy with your experience on this occasion. I have spoken with the teams responsible for the areas concerned and have detailed their responses below. In relation to the Emergency Department it will be reinforced to all staff in the department that they are to ensure that the privacy and dignity of patients is maintained at all times. This will include doctors, nurses and porters and will be done via internal meetings, dissemination of minutes, using the communication folder and during the handover for all staff. Furthermore it will be reiterated; again through the above channels, that call bells should be given to all patients so they can contact the nursing staff if necessary. As regards cleanliness and the quality and quantity of food ISS, the provider that is responsible for food and cleanliness, is genuinely sorry to hear that your food was not of an acceptable standard and was not served in the appropriate manner. It is ISS and Trust policy to offer patients both toast and cereals for breakfast and for it to be served in accordance with food safety legislation and of a quality that meets both ISS and NHS guidelines. As a result of these comments they would like to assure you that a thorough investigation will be carried out to determine why this would appear not to be the case in this instance and any corrective action deemed necessary will be taken to prevent any future recurrence. You also stated that a member of the cleaning staff commented on the fact that they ‘left some dust in the corners for good measure’ and that another cleaning operative did not clean the toilet properly. While it is difficult to confirm without more detail, ISS are acutely aware of the need to deliver cleaning to the highest of standards throughout the hospital and if standards do fall below the required levels, prompt and appropriate action is taken. Regular cleaning audits are carried out in all areas and ISS are very proud of their association with UHCW, with recent external audits and patient and visitor comments confirming good standards of cleanliness throughout the hospital. It was, therefore, extremely disappointing to learn of your experience and this is clearly not the impact that ISS would wish. They would, again, assure you that a full investigation will be carried out to determine why these comments were made and any appropriate action taken as necessary. We would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service 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: - PALS 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 Telephone 0800 028 4203

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