"Visiting at East Surrey hospital"

About: East Surrey Hospital

(as a relative),

The last time the family were all together with my husband still conscious was when he was admitted for the last 10 days of his life. We could not all visit at once because of the "only 2 at the bedside" rule.

Patients experience many hours of loneliness. Simple compassion is needed. Putting phones in where the patient can talk to to someone is cheaper than the TVs, so why have you not done it, TVs are not needed, but contact with friends, family and caring volunteers is.

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Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

I’m sorry that you experienced this problem at East Surrey Hospital. Some of our wards currently have portable phones so that relatives can speak to our patients whilst they are on a ward. Those wards that don’t are being supplied in the next couple of weeks.

The rules around visiting are also relaxed for patients nearing their end of life and this can be discussed with the nurse in charge. I'm so sorry if this wasn't made clear to you.

I appreciate that it won’t affect your own situation but all new wards we open (such as Copthorne and Charlwood wards in February 2012) have individual patient phones – as part of an individual patient entertainment system - as we identified this as a service we wished our patients to have. We intend to roll this out across the hospital, but it is a significant investment and also requires the bed bays to be empty whilst we do the work.

If you would like to discuss your comment please contact me on either 01737 231988 or ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk

Ian Mackenzie

Director of Information and Facilities