"An elderley relative was admitted ..."

About: Leighton Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

An elderley relative was admitted after having a hypoglycemic episode. We were seen by a doctor approximately 2.5 hours after admission. She was given food, but nursing staff would not answer any questions as to whether she could/should eat it. Nurses generally seemed pleasant, yet confused and disorganised- preferring to give fob-off answers. Response times to bedpan requests and other practicalities were, however, generally good. The doctor we were seen by was very knowledgeable and explained things clearly.

What could be improved

The hospital could be cleaner. Many areas of the facility smell noticably unpleasant. There also seems to be a shortage of professionals, and lack of co-operation between departments. The car parking charges are rediculously high. I have had dealings with Leighton before, and the hospital has certainly improved somewhat over the past few years, although much work still needs to be done to bring it up to the standard of other local facilities.

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Responses

Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for letting us have your positive comments regarding your admissions to Leighton Hospital over the last few years.

The vision for Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is to be a world class provider. We are therefore delighted to hear that you have had excellent care and treatment, and found all of our staff to be polite and helpful. I can assure you that these comments will be passed on to staff across the organisation.

I am sorry that you observed some patients to be struggling on occasions at mealtimes. I would like to reassure you that we are making improvements in this area.

In October 2008 we introduced a protected mealtimes policy across seven of our wards.

We want to ensure that our patients’ mealtime is protected, making their nutritional intake the top priority for at least one hour per day. Research has shown that when food is served in the right kind of atmosphere, patient satisfaction increases, more food is eaten and patients benefit from improved nutrition.

We are therefore limiting the number of people who come onto wards for one hour per day, at specific times on certain wards. Medication, doctors’ rounds, physiotherapy – they will all be done outside of the hour set aside for mealtimes. We want our patients to be able to enjoy their mealtimes without unnecessary interruption. As there will be fewer interruptions, staff have more time to help those patients who need assistance with their meal.

Patients on wards 1, 4, 19, 23 and the three orthopaedic wards will be encouraged to use the day room facilities for dining, rather than eating in bed or at the bedside. We want to make dining a more sociable experience, where patients can interact with one another, and to encourage patients, where appropriate, to get out of bed.

‘Protected Mealtimes’ ensures time is dedicated to just meals, therefore enabling staff to have more quality time with patients and help them during mealtimes. A number of our volunteers have also been specially trained to help with patient’s mealtimes, particularly on Ward 4. We are always looking to train more volunteers with a view to the service being available on more wards.

Thank you once again for taking the time to let us have your comments. Your feedback is very much appreciated.

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