"Disgraceful part two - cont of earlier review"

OK following my earlier review of general points which are unsatisfactory, and which I am expecting to be published, here are some very specific issues which should be urgently tackled.

5. My friend is temporarily disabled and struggles to walk, so she was placed in the room furthest from all the central areas, so she has to hobble on crutches if she wants anything at all. When she asked if she could be moved, because her consultant had warned her about using her broken ankle too much, the requests were ignored. OK, I understand that there were no rooms available, but people have been discharged since she arrived, it would have been a minimal action to let her occupy one of the rooms nearer the hub.

To date this has not happened and at the fracture clinic she was warned that she was damaging her broken ankle through too much walking. This should be changed and hospital policies should reflect specific physical needs of patients.

6. This same friend is vegetarian-not uncommon any more, indeed around 15% of the general population are vegetarian, that's one person in every 8, so you'd expect that to be a standard decision by those who plan the meals. Clearly not, she's been living on cheese rolls and every time I visit I ensure that she gets some proper food. Tonight she called me in a very upset state and explained that there was no veggie option, and not even bread, so she has to go hungry-furthermore, when she asked what would be done about this she was told 'we can't cater for special dietary needs, don't you eat fish?' I don't have the vocabulary to clarify how this has made me feel.

She has been made to feel like an inconvenience, a trouble maker, a pain. patients should be the single most important entity in this place, yet they are so often spoken down to as if they are absolutely worthless (oh yes, I have seen this plenty of times) and instead of feeling like someone who is important to the staff she feels completely deflated and tearful. In fact, she feels paranoid that people are ignoring her-not a good move by the catering staff. Food options should cater for all dietary needs. I am very aware that there is currently a vegan patient on the ward-maybe an urgent review of that person's diet might be overdue?

Overall the hospital has a nice building, let down by poor adherence to policies (or weak policies) low-calibre staff and an attitude towards patients and visitors which is upsetting. I would be delighted to support these claims, discuss them and offer solutions.


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Response from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Geoff

Please see my answer to Part 1

Yours sincerely

Rachael Kenny

Patient Experience Team