"I was appalled"

About: Ipswich Hospital

(as the patient),

I have had cause of late to visit a relative in the above hospital and was shocked at the lack of communication between patient (step-father) and close relative (Mother), both in their 70s. My mother not asking questions, mainly because she doesn't really know who to speak to, as there is a lack of advising whom she should, and not always hearing what's been said.

Why don't these so called professionals make allowances for the older generation, making sure they know what's going on, why certain drugs are given, why such treatment is happening. On one occasion my s/father, very poorly in bed, was handed an oral type syringe - ?? He hadn't a clue what to do with it, the nurse handing it to him just said 'here you are'. What may seem the obvious to these people isn't to those outside the profession. It wasn't until I took this up and mentioned the communication is sadly lacking that suddenly the doctor and a particular nurse was talking to my mother and s/father.

The hand gel at the entry to each ward to assist in preventing MRSA - many people do not use these. I am rather short and didn't see the sign in the first instance, as it was hung from the ceiling on approach to the ward!! Why is this not posted in a prominent place on the walls as one enters, and thoughout the building (there always seem to be space to hang pictures) - a constant reminder before entering the ward.This might also help staff to use it as well.

We witnessed a worker taking a trolley from ward to ward delivering goods of some sort, not bothering to clean his hands - perhaps this doesn't apply to him? Or the nurse from another ward, when I was leaving and advised the bottles were empty,she acted the part of using the plunger and said 'that will do'!! None of this instils any kind of confidence in the way my local hospital is run. Four days' later I visited only to find these bottles hadn't been replenished.

Swabs used when treating my s/father have been left lying around on his bedside cabinet and table(that wheels across the bed), one with blood on. A sputem pot was also left in full view with a date fours day's old written on the lid.

The only positive things' I can say is a nurse from a hospital in Norwich was brought in, (rather than using agency nurses), and he actually found some time to talk and gently explain what was going on at that time. Also the Doctor involved in my s/fathers case has just this week (after being hospitalised for 4 weeks and much blood testing etc in this time)explained to my mother the extent of her husband's illness.

And to top all of this the name above his bed had been written the wrong way round, so staff were calling him by his surname!!

I just hope I never ever have to be admitted to hospital. I have contributed to the NHS all my working life, some thirty plus years, and am appalled at the state of the NHS today.

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Response from Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust

The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust endeavours to deliver the highest standard of care to all our patients.

We are very concerned to learn about your family’s experiences and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss these further with you.

We offer a confidential Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and we would appreciate you contacting them so we can, with your agreement, fully investigate and respond to the issues you have raised.

The PALs phone number is 01473 702064.

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