"A ward too far!"

About: Southend Hospital

Having had a total hip replacement just over 2 weeks ago I have nothing but praise for the orthopaedic team and the nursing in general that I received during my 5 night stay. The one area that I have an issue with is ending up on a gynae ward while Shopland Ward was closed over the weekend. This it seems is a weekly occurance since the start of this year. I wonder if those who have made this decision understand the disruption this brings to both staff on Shopland Ward and its patients? The staff workload is doubled as they have to take care of the routine care of their patients plus needing to strip all of the beds and remake them. During my wait to find out which ward I would be transferred to the staff had to deal with a patient who clearly was suffering from dementia, removing her canula and throwing things about as well as attempting to get out of bed. The patience of the staff was infinite, but clearly added a huge extra burden to their workload.For those of us waiting to be transferred there was the anxiety of wondering where we would end up and the knowledge that the bond we had made with the other patients on the ward would soon be broken up. As I have stated above I was transferred to Eastwood Ward, a gynae ward, where though the nursing was first rate it was obviously not set up to deal with orthopaedic patients. I had to tell some of the nursing staff which side of the bed I was expected to get in and out of. There was no shower available during my stay there but was offered a bath. Fortunately I had read the booklet that told me that I am not allowed a bath for 12 weeks and so declined the offer. The toilets were a long way from the ward and one of them was quite inappropriate for someone with a walker and a wheelchair as it was so narrow and had no grab rail. I spent the remainder of my hospital stay in this ward. I hope those who make decisions to close a ward for the weekend will see that the savings on staffing need to be offset by the disruption to staff and patients alike.

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Response from Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Many thanks for your kind comments and very useful feedback. I will pass this on to the teams involved and would like to thank you for taking the time to advise us of your observations.

I hope you are making a good recovery and I would like to wish you well in the future.

Steve McEwen

Patient Experience Lead

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