"Recovery stunted due to lack of therapy,..."
About: East Surrey Hospital East Surrey Hospital Redhill RH1 5RH
What I liked
The staff on the ward looking after my elderly mother were mostly pleasant and helpful. My mother thought the food was quite good for hospital food. Cleaning was being done regularly.
What could be improved
More Nursing Staff
The nurses always seemed busy and stressed. I don't think there were enough of them. For some of her stay she was too poorly to walk to the toilet and had to ask for a bedpan or commode. On 2 separate occasions she ended up soiling herself because she couldn't wait any longer - she describes this as the most humiliating experience she has ever had. It seems this was completely avoidable if someone had responded to her needs sooner.
My mother got physiotherapy infrequently, but she really needed the help to get back on her feet. Prior to going into hospital she was a fit and capable woman, doing her shopping on her own and meeting her friends in town. When she was better from her illness, she was only in hospital because she wasn't strong enough to manage going home. I expected she would have daily physio but they were only seeing her a couple of times a week, which wasn't enough to help her get back on her feet. Around the bank holidays they had no physio for at least 4 days in a row which meant my mother was just sitting in hospital waiting. I was told she needed a rehab bed but could wait weeks for that, and the hospital didn't have enough physio to rehab patients on-site. I found out that the physio on that ward also had to cover another ward. Given that there looked to be about 25 patients on one ward it seems like too much for one physio to manage.
My mother eventually got a rehab bed after waiting nearly a month. She was there for 3 weeks and then went home.
Surely, if East Surrey had more physios they could help patients get better quicker and out of hospital sooner. I think my mother's total stay in hospital could have been 6 weeks not 10 weeks, and I think she would need less help that she does now at home.
Patients deserve to regain their quality of life after being unwell and physios help do that.
As a taxpayer myself, I think it is a waste of money having people sit in hospital for weeks on end waiting to go to rehab. Is it not cheaper to employ more physios?
More nursing staff would help improve patient care and dignity.