"Five star hospital, two star care"

About: Southmead Hospital

Was admitted to Southmead Hospital Orthopeadics for elected surgery on my ankle in July I was very impressed with the booking in system and the level of care I received in pre-op and during surgery However, the care on the ward left a lot to be desired. Unfortunately, despite the staff being very caring and trying to be as attentive as they can they were grossly understaffed. I was in a 37 bed ward of single rooms and the staff were running up and down the corridor like headless chickens, trying to answer the relentless noise of people ringing their buzzers After my surgery I was unable to get out of bed because I was non weight- bearing. I also have quite severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and had been off my medication for two weeks because it is contra indicated to infection. The nurse gave me a buzzer and told me to use it when I needed something. I rang my buzzer when I needed to empty my bladder, it took a while for someone to come and put a bedpan under me and then left me to call again when I had finished. On número use occasions I was left for ages before someone came. The longest being 15 minutes. The nurses apologised profusely but explained they were very busy. I do not blame the nurses for the lack of attendance, they were doing a wonderful job in difficult circumstances. However, I believe they are very understaffed for such a large ward What a shame that I have to write this review because the hospital itself and the facilities are wonderful. But it needs more staff to provide the 5 star service.

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Responses

Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Arthur55 – thank you for your feedback about your recent care. I was pleased to hear that your pre-op arrangements were good but disappointed to learn of your overall experience. Staffing levels on wards are carefully monitored and have to be reported on but the Trust. Although due to unexpected staff absence some posts are not able to be covered, because our “bank staff” or as a last resort agency nurses are not available this is the exception and careful planning is underway to ensure the incidence of unfilled posts are reduced. What is clear is that the new design of the hospital and the high ratio of single rooms have called for an adjustment to nursing practices and ward matrons are still adjusting the way in which staff are deployed to provide the optimum care. I am sorry if your perception is that staff levels are a widespread problem, but please be assured this is not the case. Please be assured your comments have been shared with the Orthopaedics managers. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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