"Mixed experience"

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

I attended for my annual retinopathy appointment this morning desperate for the toilet. Upon finding the men's toilets on the ground floor of the main building, I entered to use the facilities. The smell in there was beyond description, the single urinal was placed so that anyone else entering the toilet would hit you in the back if you were standing there. So I used the disabled cubicle. This is where I found the source of the smell, there was old urine in the toilet, which was obviously not flushed for some time. The toilet seat was broken off and placed onto a shelf behind the toilet. After flushing, the smell still lingered and the floors themselves looked like they hadn't seen a mop or any cleaning fluids for a good few weeks. Onto the eye screening department, the person doing the screening was very friendly to me and another patient who was the appointment before me. Asked the relevant questions, was very understanding when I told them I was very squeamish about people touching my eyes. Drops went in first time with no problems, and after a 15 minute wait pictures were taken and that was that. Once back on the ground floor, I was thirsty and whilst the vending machines were stocked I had no change to use them and the shop was shut (looked like it had been shut for quite sometime as well which is a shame if that is the case). Based on this experience, I would rather carry on using my local hospital, Lister Hospital, as I feel standards have slipped considerably at the QE2. I remember visiting my Nan in a ward 10 years ago and the whole building was excellently cared for and maintained.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Thanks for getting in touch - one of the reasons why the QEII feels the way it does at the moment is that literally in a few weeks all remaining services in the old hospital will move across in to the £30 million New QEII Hospital being built across the car park. This means that in this transition period, the current hospital buildings can feel somewhat less impressive than otherwise would be the case - although that is no excuse for the toilets being in the state reported, which we'll make sure gets attended to quickly. It was good to hear that you felt the clinical service you received was good, which in a few weeks' time will be delivered from the new hospital just yards away.

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