"Is the Northern General Hospital in decline?"

About: Northern General Hospital

(as the patient),

Sheffield's Northern General Hospital seems to me to be on the decline. But why?

1) I hear that £130 million needs to be cut from it's budget over the next 3 - 4 years. Will this need cuts in services and staff?

2) Is it because there are too many old wards (Vickers) that need to be demolished? Could be. The only trouble is that when the old wards are closed I hear they may axe 42 care beds (and the staff too). More redundancies?

3) Poor food? Yes, patient food is often very poor and on the whole not nutritious given that it is cooked and then re-heated. This is also true of the Huntsman Dining Room. Steer clear, I advise. Among other things there is the 25% premium you have to pay as visitors. Check out the floor and the serving hatches - meat is served directly alongside the custard!

4) What about the cleanliness of the place?

On arrival at the main entrance one is greeted by dirty, dripping bins to the immediate side of each entrance. There are fags strewn on the floor and often need to wade through other debris including paper, fag-ends and occasional vomit (I saw two lots last week). Dirty lifts.

The main reception area and corridor is looking it's age and decor is becoming poor, with torn paper, knocked edges / doors and frames. The cleanest place is the WRVS canteen where there staff are not only cheerful and efficient, but deserve gold stars for their cleanliness and superb manners.

TOILETS: The toilet facilities on the main corridor leave a lot to be desired. The men's toilet is a disgrace. I have yet to see such an unhygienic, badly designed and cleaned toilet facility. There is one stainless steel 'trough' to urinate in because of it's position, height and structure it will result in there being contamination to anyone using, including the splash-back of others urine that potentially could be infected.

The cubicles are dirty too because I tried to use one instead of the urinal - but because of a ‘blockage’ by others this was abruptly aborted.

The hand washing facilities are not ideal and the basins were really dirty when I've seen them. When leaving the toilet I made sure that I did not touch the filthy door - I used clean paper towels to shield my hands.

The toilets need to be modernised and made safe to use. They are unsafe and dirty presently and risk of infection to patients is a possibility.

My relative was moved from a critical care area to a Vickers ward which I understand had a serious bowel infection rampant - have you heard of C. Diff? Unfortunately, not only did she pick up an hospital acquired infection of the bowel (C.Diff), but also MRSA.

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