"Lack of accessibility to drinking water at Midlothian Community Hospital"

About: Midlothian Community Hospital

(as the patient),

I had an OOH referral to a GP early February 2016 at Midlothian Community Hospital. On diagnosis, the GP (Dr Burrows, thank you again - reassuringly calm and assertive). Organised a bed for me at WGH Edinburgh and offered me a ambulance which was declined. She clearly outlined to a relative who was waiting in reception instructions re hospital. Reception and waiting area were quiet. Dr left and my relative went to collect car.

I asked the receptionist where I could get some tap water for my bottle as it was important that I drank. She advised that there was none available. However, water was available from a vending machine. I explained I had not brought my purse. Dr who had treated me observed this and she asked the same question of the receptionist who advised there was a drinking tap down a corridor. Dr Burrows took my bottle to fill this and return it to me.

Why does a recently built NHS facility not have a drinking tap/fountain readily available for patients, staff and visitors? Why did I and the Dr get different answers when we asked where drinking water was available? Why was the Dr's time spent on collecting me water rather than the member of staff sitting at reception (presumably on a less costly hourly rate)?

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Responses

Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear EilsFin

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experiences of being seen by the OOH Team at MidLothian Community Hospital. I was pleased to read that Dr Burrows looked after you well and arranged for your ongoing care at the Western General Hospital.

I was sorry to read how difficult it was to get your bottle filled with water. I was not aware that patients were expected to buy water from a vending machine but l will speak to the team and try and find out for you as you are correct to say that you and doctor should not have been told something different.

I will pass this feedback on the team and will post an update when l have further information. In the meantime l hope you are recovering well.

Kind regards

Jeannette

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