"Full marks for all but the food!"

About: The James Cook University Hospital

My instructions were to attend Ward 24 at 7.30am. On arrival we were asked to sit in a small claustrophobic waiting room until my bed was allocated, I told the nurse that I can't sit on the chairs for very long without feeling discomfort. The nurse told me it wouldn't be very long. By 7.50am there were six of us sitting in close proximity in this small room, and by 8.15am I'd had enough and walked to the reception desk, as I approached, a nurse asked my name and then said my room was ready, before I could complain about the wait. The nurse took my husband and me to the room and left us there. On the bed was a strip of paper showing that the room had been ready since the previous afternoon. So, it begs the question "why did I have to wait 45 minutes, in pain and in a claustrophobic room?". Is it because the staff change over at 8am, and the night staff can't show patients to their rooms? If so, then please change the time the patient should arrive to 8am at the earliest. I travelled from Whitby so I'd already had a 45 minute journey by car, and did not appreciate having to wait in such conditions. The single room was excellent and comfortable, with plenty of fresh air coming through the two open windows on a hot day, however, it was just above the south entrance, and there were times when cigarette smoke drifted up and into my room, presumably from smokers outside the entrance. I had a long wait until 1pm when I was taken to the operating area, whilst in the waiting bay I was well looked after and my surgeon, did come in and apologise for the delay. Back in my room after surgery I was once again well cared for by my designated nurse who made me comfortable and brought me a sandwich to eat. I give that sandwich 0/10! It comprised of 2 thick slices of bread, butter or spread had been waved across the surfaces and was non existent in places, the chicken and stuffing filling accounted for less than half the width of the slice of bread and was spread out with gaps in between. The first mouthful confirmed my thoughts, the bread when chewed can only be described as glutinous and needed half a glass of water to allow me to swallow it. There was so little in the way of filling that there was no taste, and I abandoned my attempt to eat it. Fortunately the nurse gave me a banana and with biscuits of my own I survived until breakfast. Oddly enough the toast I had was made from thin bread! I also had orange juice which was warm and unpalatable, and as you will gather, I was not impressed with the standard of food. The doctor visited and confirmed I could go home, and I was given dressings and instructions but as there was a generator check in operation the discharge letter couldn't be printed and is being posted to me. I have to praise the nursing staff and doctors for their care and despite the food would choose JCUH again, this is my third visit for neurosurgery, each time scored excellent.

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Response from The James Cook University Hospital

Good afternoon Thank you for your feedback, regarding your admission to ward 24 at The James Cook University Hospital. Its is always pleasing to receive positive feedback and I appreciate you taking the time to contact us. I shall certainly forward your comments to the staff involved in your care and treatment. I have noted your comments regarding the standard of food and if you would like to discuss this issue further, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Relations Department on 01642 854500. With best wishes for your recovery Yours sincerely Miss Helen Newman IG & Patient Safety Specialist, Incidents & Complaints