"I was admitted to ward H for investigation ..."
About: Pinderfields General Hospital Pinderfields General Hospital Wakefield WF1 4DG
Posted by Howard Coulter (as ),
What I liked
I was admitted to ward H for investigation of abdominal pain, followed by treatment of an abscess on my liver. The ward staff were brilliant and really took a lot of trouble to ensure that I was comfortable and helped me with pain management. I was put on a very low fat diet, but did not feel like eating, yet the catering ladies did their very best to try and find me something nice to eat, even though it was very difficult with the limited choice provided by outside caterers.
What could be improved
The nursing staff were run ragged throughout their shifts, and for 3 days we had some very difficult patients who demanded constant attention. Even then, they still found time to deal with all other patients. It became apparent that shifts were understaffed on far too many occasions. One wonders whether hospital management are aware of this, as I know from personal experience (IT) that understaffing for too long results in mistakes being made, and this is not the fault of the frontline staff, but the management allowing it to continue.
The rounds by the consultants appeared to be haphazard at times and patients had no idea when or if they would appear. Once I waited in case they came, and after an hour decided to go for a shower - they turned up while I was there, and would not wait 5 minutes for me to get dried and dressed.
Food quality was a little up and down. Some of it was really nice - bolognaise, balti, roast chicken - but most of the soups and other dishes such as casseroles were far too salty, and some were inedible due to the high salt content, and many patients were complaining aboout it. I asked to see the packet of the spring vegetable soup and found the salt content shown as sodium. Even this was quite high, but when multiplied by 2.5 to get the real salt content, one serving was about 25% of a safe daily intake - far too high. This needs urgent attention, and should not be happening in a hospital. I still remember my time in Harrogate hospital in 1968, where the matron tasted the food before it was served. What quality control procedure is in place now ?
In general, my time in ward H was a very positive experience, showing that the NHS can still cut it, and I for one am most grateful for the care and treatment I received from all the frontline staff. I hope the hospital management will give them a little more support in the future, as they all deserve it.