"Patient Welfare broken ice machine on Deene A..."

About: Kettering General Hospital

I have felt it necessary to purchase 3 bags of ice daily to add to the water jugs since last Friday for my husband, who's is currently fighting pancreatitis and other complications on Deene A in Kettering General Hospital and for all the other patients too. Despite raising my concerns 3 separate times with your complaints team last Friday and leaving a further message on Saturday as to why the Deene A ward's ice machine is not working, nothing has been done to fix the machine or source alternative ice from another ward in KGH. Ward matron informed me they have been waiting for a replacement part since Sept 2015!

Up until last Friday if a patient needed ice, a family member would be advised to go to Costa Coffee to get a cup of ice, which would cost 10p.

I had to do 3 runs on Friday alone for my husband, as he does not produce saliva, a lasting side effect from being a survivor of throat cancer, he can only drink ice cold water or a hot drink such as tea. Whilst the nurses are doing their best and keeping a jug in the fridge, in the temperatures over the weekend within half an hour the water was too warm. The ward simply do not have the staff to run up and down 2 flights of stairs to get ice for their patients. I told your complaints team that I was not just fighting for my husband Chris but every patient on Deene A, for their basic rights.

It was and still is unbelievably warm, with temperatures exceeding 20 plus degrees over the weekend, it is totally unacceptable and is in my opinion having a direct impact on the welfare of all patients on Deene A.

It simply makes no sense, Deene A relies on monitoring the fluid output of your patients, before they can be discharged, how can fluid output be achieved if the drinking water is undrinkable?

Give the patients refreshing drinking water, they will drink and thus aid their recovery, equating to patients being discharged and more beds available! Kettering General Hospital you need to get this sorted ASAP, Costa Coffee informed me that they will have to stop giving ice as they need it for their own business due to increased sales for their cold slushes!

It has been a true pleasure watching all the patients get ice in their jugs and watching them all drinking fluids.

The nurses have been refilling so many jugs and patients are smiling.

My husband has been in a critical condition all week, I simply should not have had to spend my valuable time sourcing bags of ice, time I could have been by his side.

I am not sure how much longer I can afford to pay for ice for everyone, I feel that I will letting the other patients down as they have become accustomed to having ice.

Thank you to Ward Matron and the fantastic team on Deene A, they all do a fantastic job, despite the unnecessary barriers of inadequate drinking water for their patients being foisted upon them by KGH. It is simply barbaric and totally unacceptable.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns regarding the ice machine on Deene A and for your positive comments about the ward staff.

The complaints department have escalated your concern following your phone calls. I have contacted estates about the ice machine and they will be looking at this on Monday. Please contact me via PALS on 01536 493305 if you would like any further updates.

Jo Milton

Surgery Lead Nurse

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