"Closure of isolation ward"

About: Frimley Park Hospital (Frimley)

(as a relative),

My husband was admitted at the end of November 2007 with splenic lymphoma. When this was diagnosed 17months earlier he had been admitted to the Isolation Ward. Although no-one told us or our GP this ward was closed from 14th July 2007 until 7th January 2008 for refurbishment. The hospital's policy for caring for immune suppressed patients during this period was for them to be nursed in amenity rooms around the hospital.

Considering the difficulties and lack of guarantee in the sterility of such rooms I think it is reprehensible that such rooms should be considered suitable for those whose immune system is already weakened.

Because the amenity rooms were spread around th hopsital that put great pressure on the doctors and detracted from the care they could give.

My husband was put on a general/elderly ward where I believe one person had pneumonia. This ward was very busy and when I asked a nurse how she coped with so many people calling for help she said "I don't hear."

He was catheterised for what I feel was no positive reason, which caused excessive bleeding which was not recognised, monitored or recorded. I repeatedly told doctors, nurses, everyone, but no-one acknowledged the seriousness of this. AT the complaint hearing I was told a drip of blood can look a lot but actually means nothing. They refuse to acknowledge the degree of blood lost but I was with my husband from 9am to 11pm every day, I know how excessively he was bleeding and how much pain he was in.

I tried to get my husband out of there but no-one could suggest an alternative, even though I wanted to pay for better care for my husband. There were no systems in place.

My husband died on at the beginning of December, 2007, officially from septicaemia and pneumonia.

I believe the closure of the isolation ward played a big part in my husband's death. The pressures this put on the doctors meant that, in my opinion, inappropriate procedures were ordered by doctors who I feel were inexperienced and whose actions damaged my husband so profoundly.

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Responses

Response from Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear JeanK

Thank you for taking time to comment on Patient Opinion.

We can confirm that our Trust’s Isolation ward was closed during the period mentioned. This was a planned closure to upgrade and refurbish the Isolation ward to a higher specification to enable the Trust to manage all types of infectious conditions.

During this time alternative arrangements were in place to care for all patients who needed isolation. All staff had access to advice and support from the Trust Palliative Care team and Specialist Pain team and patients are placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway as appropriate.

We would like to reiterate our offer to hold a further meeting with you to discuss any outstanding concerns.

Yours faithfully

Mary

Mary Dunne

Director of Nursing, Quality & Patient Services

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