"Unpleasant experience at Liverpool Heart & Chest hospital"

About: Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

(as the patient),

I attended the day ward at 08:00 and di not receive treatment until 15:45. During this time I had very little contact with staff and was given no indication that I might have to wait beyond 11:30. By 14:00 I was very anxious and stressed which seems a little ironic, since my treatment was for a heart related problem where I should be trying to avoid stressful situations.

Although the procedure was quickly and efficiently done, my return to the day ward was not great, as I had to return to the dreaded chair for another three and a half hours. I don't think that these chairs should be used for a stay of more than three hours.

By 17:00 the toilets on the ward were filthy. According to the notice they hadn't been cleaned since 11:00.

Overall, the experience was unpleasant, distressing in a dirty environment. I was glad to leave after twelve hours - seven and a half hours of which was waiting.

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Response from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

We are sorry to learn that you encountered a negative experience at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and apologise that you were not kept informed when your procedure would take place, nor that you could mobilise yourself around the ward prior to your procedure.

Our staff have always been asked to ensure that patients are kept informed of approximate times for their procedures and more importantly keep them informed of any pending delays. Patients are now informed in their admission letter that their stay on the day ward may be up to 12 hours.

With regard to the chairs used on the ward, we regularly seek patients’ opinions of the chairs and feedback to date has nearly always proved positive. The chairs do have the facility to change position and also have a gel cushion seat which aids the patient’s comfort. If a patient was to raise a concern over using the chair every effort would be made to find a bed for them within the hospital.

We are disappointed to note your issue concerning the cleanliness of the toilets on the Day Ward as our hospital has stringent procedures in place. We continue to receive the very highest of scores nationally in terms of its cleanliness and infection prevention. It may interest you to know that since February 2008 zero (0) cases of MRSA blood infections have been acquired within this Trust. Your concerns have been brought to the attention of the Ward Manager who confirmed that the toilets are cleaned twice a day, morning and evening. We are always striving to improve our service and we have now placed a notice requesting patients to inform a member of staff if they feel that the toilets are not up to an acceptable standard and have even explored the possibility of a third clean to be introduced.

For your information, we are currently trialling a “Lounge” area on this Ward for day case patients receiving angioplasty or angiograms via the radial approach. Unlike a Ward, patients can remain in their own clothes, access the internet, watch television, read newspapers, magazines and generally relax in a comfortable environment prior to and after their procedure. Patients have expressed that this facility provides a better experience for them making them feel more at ease.

Your comments have been important to us and we again apologise for any inconvenience we may have caused.