"A disturbance extremely near the ward"

About: Kent & Canterbury Hospital

(as the patient),

Outside Kingston ward last weekend. Cant recall which evening as I was drowsy. People had been in the corridor most of the evening, not just a few people but many. Some were sitting on the floor. A lady seemed to be dying. Suddenly chaos and very loud voices, a disagreement had broken out. As they were just outside the ward door and I was in the bed near the door it was extremely upsetting. I was on monitors etc and felt very vulnerable. They eventually went, not quietly. There was broken glass in the corridor. There had been many people there of varying ages from babies in push chairs. The other lady in the ward was also upset and worried. I noticed that notices stated the number of visitors allowed and visiting hours. Why was this not adhered to? Why was this chaos allowed to happen? Where was the security? It did not make us feel comfortable and relaxed. This happened long after visiting hours were over. I can not say quite how vulnerable I felt, but it is not what one expects from hospital care.

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Response from Kent & Canterbury Hospital

We are truly sorry that you had to witness this very frightening episode.

The crowd were family members of a patient and were all anxious and distressed about their relative.

However, they should have respected our visiting hours and not have turned up en mass at that hour and they did so without contacting the hospital.

To reassure you, security was called, but the officer was at the other side of the hospital initially.

However, on arrival he did immediately intervene to persuade the visitors to leave.

We are so sorry for the distress caused to you and your fellow patients; you should not be made to feel vulnerable while in hospital and I hope that staff did their best to reassure you.

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