"Observations at Royal Oldham Hospital"

About: Royal Oldham Hospital

(as a relative),

This story is being uploaded by Healthwatch Oldham on behalf of someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Any communication received from this story will be communicated to the person who submitted the information.

My mother was an inpatient at Royal Oldham Hospital for 23 days in July-August 2015. During that time I spent 7 hours each day on the ward feeding her and giving her drinks. This provided me with a chance to make a few observations. I have detailed these below:

1. One patient was well enough to be discharged one Friday, however, she was unable to go home until the Monday due to the fact that the I. V. Therapy Service (for antibiotics) did not operate in Rochdale. If she had lived in Oldham, she would have been able to go home. The lady was quite upset about this and it was also an example of bed blocking and costing the NHS unnecessary expense. I am unsure who runs the I. V. Therapy service, but could this be because Rochdale CCG have not commissioned this service, or another reason (e. g. not enough staff/cover provided by the provider? )

2. I witnessed porters and estates staff who used the toilets and did not wash their hands. Do Pennine Acute non-clinical staff such as estates staff receive training on the importance of this?

3. Equipment on wards - Special bibs were available on one ward for those patients who had difficulty eating. These were waterproof but also absorbent and caught food spills. Staff on another ward had never seen or heard of these before and were using waterproof nurses aprons which were plastic and meant food slipped from these aprons onto patients bedding and clothes.

4. Patient photography. - Patient conditions, e. g. pressure ulcers were photographed and placed on medical records. I don't think the reasons for this were adequately explained. I think something needs to be handed to patients to explain confidentiality etc.

5. I observed some patients who hardly ate or drank anything all day. Some Health Care Assistants were able to assist patients with their eating and drinking, but many staff went on their lunch and dinner breaks at the same time as patients, meaning wards were low on staff. It would appear that patients were left until they were sufficiently dehydrated to warrant placing them on a drip.

6. The bedside TV and telephone provisions were not clear and I witnessed a number of patients who were having difficulty with it. One person spent £10 in 20 minutes on the phone due to unclear instructions / unclear promotions. There is an ‘*’ after the statement that calls and TV packages are FREE. Then at the bottom there is a statement that this may require a bundle purchase which isn't very clear. In general, the TV screens explaining the deals on offer are unclear, unfair and misleading.

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Response from Royal Oldham Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments. We apologise that on this occasion we did not meet your needs.

We strive at all times to deliver the highest possible standard of care. We will use your comments to make improvements and forward your comments to the relevant area.


The Pennine Acute NHS Trust

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