"Evergreen Ward - Feb 2014"

I would like to add to the previous review. The Evergreen ward serves as a Winter overspill ward. I understand that the NHS is often hard pushed, however the care given on this ward would make any one question the duty of care that the NHS should be offering. The ward is lacking basic amenities for good infection control. There are only one set of visitor toilets in the south wing of the hospital which are either out of order or are locked past 17:00 or during the weekends, leading to both visitors and nurses having to use patients toilets/shower rooms. Toilets/shower rooms are share by both female and male patients, and one of the toilet areas has no locks on the door, leading to little privacy for patients. There are no individual disinfection pumps on each of the patients beds. Conditions behind patients beds are dusty, with a lack of controlled cleaning. The patient I was visiting has a pair of soiled pyjama placed in a plastic bag an left under the bed. Patients on the ward also complained that the showers did not work properly - I only have this statement as word of mouth. There is little/no security on the ward. Nurses on the ward are often drafted in from UCH to fill in for shifts, they will openly admit that they do not wish to be on the ward and would prefer to be back in "the tower". Of the nurses present some are great and try to do the best of a bad situation whilst other nurses spend their time in the office room gossiping. New nurses drafted onto the ward did not take the time to read, or even flick through a patients notes, treating all patients the same regardless of condition. Whilst visiting a patient in the ward I witnessed poor levels of care, and an almost disorganised atmosphere. At one point whilst taking the patient I was visiting to the toilet the fire alarm went off. No one on the ward knew what the correct procedure was. I was left with my family member in the toilet not really knowing what I should be doing. On one day the particular patient I was visiting was left in a soiled state - I cleaned the patient myself, and even had to ask a nurse for cleaning wipes without being offered any help at all. I also witnessed poor handling of a patient - with a patient being moved onto a bed when the correct brakes had not been applied to the bed. No formal pain assessments of patients were undertaken by nursing staff, regardless of the cognitive state of a patient, and the cognitive state of the patient was not considered when giving or, in the case I witnessed, not giving drugs to a patient who needed them. I appreciate we have a somewhat stretched NHS - but there is still a duty of care, and this ward is unable to fulfil this duty of care and is need of a desperate review. I dearly hope the doctor who runs this ward takes time to review these comments and can attempt to put things right. This ward is in sharp contrast to the care given in UCH.

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