""Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink" - complaint about NHS Tayside's removal of drinking water dispensers"
About: Dundee Dental Hospital / Dental Dundee Dental Hospital Dental DD1 4HR
Posted by Twitchytoes (as ),
This is an account of my experience a month ago at Dundee’s Dental Hospital. It was the hottest day of the year so far and I was to have a lip biopsy. The waiting area was quite cool but there was no water dispenser and most people did not look very happy or relaxed. There was nowhere in the building where you could purchase a bottle of water.
In common with many people using the dental hospital, I was anxious about the imminent procedure, and when stressed our mouths become dry. When I got into the theatre room it was hot and busy with windows all along the side, through which the sun was pouring. Once lying down in the chair with light overhead, the young dentist did her best to put me at my ease but kept remarking on how hot it was, no air conditioning or drinking water. The sun was pouring into the room which was full of medical staff.
The dentist was supervised by a consultant who was looking after another patient at the other end of the building. After my anaesthetic the procedure to remove 5 salivary glands from my mouth went ahead. Everyone in the room was hot. One of the staff said that NHS Tayside has removed the water dispensers for reasons of cost saving. She says that she has written to the powers that be to explain that this is having a terrible impact on many first floor patients, who can't be soothed prior to a stressful procedure with a glass of water if they feel dizzy or faint, and who can't now have their bloodied and very dry mouths washed/rinsed out after the operation, apart from a basic wipe with distilled water from a sealed plastic container. She has heard nothing back. When you consider that my biopsy is being investigated for Sjogren's Syndrome -the “drying up” autoimmune disease – it becomes potentially dangerous not to be have anything to drink. The staff were all very professional and kind. My results were strongly positive so I have Sjogren's disease.
I should say that I was advised by an officer working for the Cabinet secretary for Health & Wellbeing, to use this platform for my complaint. But it is NHS Tayside's policy to remove water dispensers I'm complaining about - not the quality of the treatment I received or the facilities themselves - which were all excellent.