"nice people, filthy place"
About: Manchester Royal Infirmary Manchester Royal Infirmary Manchester M13 9WL
What I liked
I walked through the A&E yesterday and I was really shocked by the posters on the wall. There are 2 posters, one of a man and one of a woman. Both have obviously been touched up with make-up to look like they have been beaten. The message on the poster is that violence will not be tolerated.
While I appreciate that these posters are there for the best of intentions, they are completely counter-productive.
Firstly the make-up - there is something really odd about using make-up to show a battered person, it somehow makes it less of a reality. For people who are actually beaten, I think it would be quite offensive. If you are sitting there with cuts and bruises on your face, having just been battered by your husband, these posters could be really quite distressing.
Secondly, and most importantly, the 'zero tolerance' tone of the poster will discourage people who have been beaten from coming to hospital. Hospital should be a safe space where you feel you can come, regardless of how you ended up getting hurt. People who are being abused are already scared, they already know that they are in a difficult situation. If they think that coming to hospital will mean more questions being asked and potentially more abuse later, they will not come on.
What could be improved
Take the posters down and have a counsellor at A&E to talk privately to people who come in with evidence of abuse. Provide the person with a follow-up telephone number they can call for help. I realise that this is more expensive, but it would be much more productive in the long run.
Can I also ask that you spend less money on building and more money on cleaning. Every time I come in, the hospital floors, walls and toilets are smelly and filthy. Since A&E is probably the part of the hospital that the majority of the population use, why is it not prioritised - A&E is the window onto the NHS and it isn't pretty.