"My auntie was in this hospital for a..."

About: Southampton General Hospital

What I liked

My auntie was in this hospital for a life saving cancer operation which was thankfully a sucess the surgeon was very good.

What could be improved

Whilst my Auntie was recovering in the Intensive Care Unit she was very well looked after, but when she was transferred onto the general wards the level of care was dropped dramatically. My Auntie was placed on a mixed ward and was suffering with bad diarrhoea, she kept asking the nurses and care staff to close the curtains so she could use the comode in private. On numerous occassions the curtain was left open, even after being asked to close them, and my Auntie had no choice but to struggle out of bed (with an opened gown on) and do her business with a young lad watching in the bed next to her. On severall ocaasions she did not make it to the comode in time and messed on the floor, can you imagine the embarrasement she felt? And to make things even worse the mess was not cleaned up for a least 1 1/2 hours, on more than one occassion. My Auntie was so emotionally distroyed and depressed that she wanted to be dead, even after the life saving operation she had just had, due to the lack of bed side manerism and pure cleaniness of the ward. The cleaning staff (when they came round) only swpet the main walk area and was more interested in standing around listening to the consultants and doctors speaking to their patients. Ths is a complete lack of confidentuality and is absolutely no need for it. After several days of suffering with diarrhoea my Auntie was moved to a isolation room because it was thought she had an infection (I wonder why) and was told her care was increased and would need to provide stool stamples. The samples were ready and hanging around for a very long time without being collected and tested, plus she was told to pull the call cord for assistance with cleaning herself. With very low dignaty left my Auntie pulled the cord for help only to be left sat on the toilet for 2 hours.

Anything else?

When my Auntie asked the nurse for some clean surgical stockings, because her pair were black from the floor (asthe room was not cleaned for days) the nurse brought her some and told her to put them on herself. Please bear in mind my Auntie had recently had her pancreas removed and was very sore with very swollen legs and feet, she could not bend down and put on some stockings (which are hard at the best of times).

To put this matter in some context my Auntie has now been re-admitted into hosptal and been informed she has Clostridium difficile.

Southampton Hospital is well known for all the good work they do but when it comes to being caring and clean I think the hospital is a disgrace.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We are so sorry to hear that your auntie was distressed during her recent stay. The privacy and dignity of patients attending our hospitals is a top priority for the Trust, so we were very concerned to hear about these negative experiences.

With regard to your feedback about mixed sex wards, we can confirm that all of our general inpatient wards are compliant with national same sex accommodation standards, so we were surprised to hear about your auntie’s experience and would like the opportunity to investigate this immediately. We are confident that we only mix patients of both genders when it is clinically necessary to do so, such as in high dependency or intensive care areas. Even in these areas there are gender segregation procedures in place.

We were also concerned to hear your feedback about your auntie’s dignity, the ward cleanliness and staff communication, and would like the opportunity to thoroughly investigate these issues for you. All of these areas have been subject to considerable changes and we have received very positive pateint feedback on the improvements made.

Unfortunately we are not able to get in touch with you or your auntie directly as we do not have access to your contact details from the NHS Choices website. If you have not already done so, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on pals@suht.swest.nhs.uk or 023 8079 8498 to help us identify the specific ward areas in which your auntie was treated. Meanwhile, the Trust’s lead for patient experience has been made aware of your feedback and has circulated this to the trust’s director of nursing, all matrons and senior nurses.

If you have any further concerns during your auntie’s current stay in hospital please speak to the matron in charge of the ward, or get in touch with PALS using the above contact details.

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