"The staff were friendly but overworked..."

About: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

What I liked

The staff were friendly but overworked as there were not enough of them. The food was excellent. There were always plenty of clean towels and bedding.

What could be improved

Ward D is in a dreadful state. Although basically clean there is an obvious lack of maintenance. One toilet had been broken for quite some time, a radiator cover was completely and dangerously unattached to the wall, there are no grab handles in the showers, the bedside tv and phones had been broken for over a week and mobile phones were not allowed so contact with family was impossible unless you were able to go outside the ward (no sign on the pay machine to indicate this so new patients were buying cards they could not use), the TV in the day room could only get some channels, there were water stains on the ceilings, I did not see anyone clean the top of my locker or table during my 4 day stay, there was a shortage of pillows (barely enough to give just one to each patient), every bed was excruciatingly noisy when being adjusted (if you moved it during the night it woke everyone up), the ward could not supply even a single digestive biscuit despite me begging for something to eat during the night following surgery, only 4 or 5 hot drinks in each 24 hoursand not allowed to make your own due to the health and safety police. I could go on and on....

Anything else?

I understand that gynaecology patients are going to be moved to general surgical wards. Patients and all the staff are absolutely horrified by this as gynaecology nursing is specialised and the very experienced nursing team are no doubt going to be dispersed. If I was told that I was going to be treated on a general ward for gynaecological problems then I would definitely say "no thanks, I'll go elsewhere". If there's one thing you can rely on in ward D it is that there is no chance of male patients walking past at any time or wandering into your bay in the middle of night (as has happened to me frequently on other wards) . The new Women and Children's unit has been trumpeted in the press as the best thing since sliced bread but now it seems that a lot of women are not going to benefit from it. Absolutely ridiculous! Perhaps I should write to the Gazette with the proper story to put them right unless someone at the Vic cares to contact me with differing facts. I could add plenty but don't want to bore you.

I will be posting separately regarding my experience in general surgery for my gall bladder removal!!

Story from NHS Choices

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