"A few simple changes could make the experience of Brierley 1 Ward a lot better"

About: Northern General Hospital

(as the patient),

In October 2006 I was admitted to NGH via A%E. Both A&E and the observation ward which I was put on for the first 24 hours were excellent. Was then moved to Brierley 1 ward, about which I have the following comments. 1. You are woken up at 7am to get washed and so the ward can be tidied up. There is no cup or tea or other drink. The first drink available is some two hours later , with breakfast at 9am. 2. Evening supper drink. On this ward it is served as soon as the visitors have gone at 8pm. In fact one night it was served at 7.45 before the visitors had left. Do you really want ovaltine or any other bedtime drink 2 hours before bed time. My normal sleep time would be somewhere betwee 11 and 12. Taking into account the above two points, this means that the last drink at night is 8pm, and the next drink available is 9am. A gap of 13 hours without a drink. 3. On this ward, the sluice room door is left permanently wedged open. This is fine during the day when you don't notice the noise much, or if you are in the bed bays at the ends of the ward, but if you are in the bay opposite the doorway to the sluice room it is purgatory at night. Try sleeping with the machinery constantly clanking away! 4. The staff on the ward in the day time were excellent, but those at night were not. Here are a few of examples of this. a) Nurse doing the drugs trolley asking patients what tablets they should have. b) One elderly lady who had been in bed for most of the time I was there (I had only seen her sit out once) asked for a bed pan. It was 5am, and may have only been about 20 minutes after the last time she had asked, but the nurse who answered her buzzer told her she couldn't have one, she could get out of bed and sit on a commode. Glad this wasn't my mother. c) One night nurse made a habit of wandering round the ward each night she was on duty, to see who had got new magazines she could sit and read through the night. d) The night staff do not seem to even consider being quiet. Doors are let swing too with a bang. General comments - The food was dreadful. The ward was dirty, curtain were hung off rails. But in fact the ward did undergo extensive cleaning whilst it was being occupied. We were moved out of bed for a morning to sit in a small day room on an uncomfortable bench seat, for a few hours whilst the beds were moved, the walls dusted, the curtains changed and the floors scrubbed. Altogether, not a good experience
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Responses

Response from Hallam and South Consortia (HASC)

It really is the little things that make a difference isn't it. And they are so hard to pick up unless we listen to patients.

I'm writing this as part of a Practice Based Commissioing Consortium in Sheffield. (PBC Consortia are groups of general practices who group together to try and improve patient services). So although we are not directly responsible for the service on Brierley 1 Ward we'll be really interested to see if the hospital takes any notice of the comments here and what it does.

Update posted by Jill06 (the patient)

Yes, it is the little things that upset and cause irritation. When you are captive there for 24 hours a day with nothing to do but read. I just hope I never need to go in there again, and that if by some lack of fortune I do, I hope things will have improved.

Does anyone know whether the hospitals actually read these comments?