"Problems on my friend's ward at st James"

About: St James's University Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a friend),

A close, elderly friend has been at St James's Hospital for some time now. In my opinion there is severe under-staffing; such that what I would say is basic care is non existent. I once saw there was 4 nursing staff to 32 patients.

I felt as if the majority of the staff on the ward are good with a couple of notable exceptions who I found to be apathetic.

Specific issues my friend has told me about have been:

- no electronic buzzer, just a metal bell to ring

- no one to answer the bell that rings as they seem busy at the other end of the multi-bayed ward, so in my experience waits of up to 30 minutes is routine

- I can't wait 30 minutes to use the commode so I feel that I have no option but to cause myself more distress by having an 'accident'

- I have seen commodes left at the bedside for more than 5 hours at a time and not checked at all through the night

- my water jug not changed from 7am to 7pm, despite me needing to drink water constantly

- my food was brought and taken away, and I think no alternatives provided despite loss of weight

- on occasions, I have seen patients told off for using the bell when trying to alert staff to another patient falling out of bed – I saw some one on the floor for 30 minutes

- I was not able to have my hair washed hair for 4 weeks (up to press), it seems to me that no one has any time to do it causing me much distress

- no one seemed to be available through the night to help change pads so I felt like if I tried to do it because of desperation I then feel like I risk falling

- if you are in a 4 bed bay, there are no tvs. TV only available in day room but I can't walk unaided and I feel that no one has time to do it

- and to cap it all, I feel worried to say anything in case it affects my care, so I feel like my care will deteriorate further

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Responses

Response from Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Leeds PCT

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on patient opinion.

I was really sorry to hear that your friend's care at St James's Hospital was less than satisfactory.

I shall pass your comments onto the Patient Relations Department at the hospital.

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Response from Leeds PCT

Response from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust:

"Thank you for your response on patient opinion. The Matron was concerned to hear that your friend felt that the basis care was non-existent.

We are pleased to let you know that the buzzer system is currently being upgraded and is now complete on 2 of the 5 wards. In addition the staff shortage has been recognised and additional staff are currently being recruited.

If you or your friend would like to discuss the issues you raised with the Matron then please contact the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust PALS team on 0113 206 7168 who can put you in touch with her."

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