"Something that gives you nightmares years later."

About: Southmead Hospital

What I liked

Lithotriptor staff friendly and helpful. Xray and scanning department staff good as well.

What could be improved

R Ward Urology - a living nightmare!

I had the misfortune of staying in this ward several years ago, I hope things have improved by now. It was staffed at the time by one nurse who desperately tried to cope with many geriatric male patients all with difficult urinary problems. The smell and the atmosphere on the ward was horrendous. The treatment of the elderly at night verged on abusive, you could hear screams of pain and constant calls of 'nurse' 'nurse' seeking help from absent staff. Toilets were strewn with blood and feces and rarely cleaned. I was in for kidney stones, in the end after experiencing the joys of R ward I transferred to the BRI as the consultant gave me no options as to my treatment - the consultant at the BRI was much better but the conditions were not hugely improved on the ward.

I have since stayed at Southmead in the Cardiology department where standards were excellent (well for this hospital anyway). I think mens urology fails to attract the quality of nursing that cardiology does for obvious reasons. If you are male and over 50 then avoid this ward at all costs.

Anything else?

Southmead is generally a good hospital but if you have a urology issue then try to avoid. They employ one of the best specialists in the country. However I guess most of his patients are private and I doubt he ever sets foot in R Ward or if he does they clean it up before his visit.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anglo Saxon - thank you for your comments. I am pleased that you found the Lithotriptor and x-ray staff friendly and helpful, but regret that your experience in urology 2 years ago was so poor. It is obviously impossible to check on the specific isses you have raised after such a long period of time. However, I have checked the ward Nursing Quality Assessment Tool (NQAT) audits and I am confident that your experience would be different if you had reason to attend now.

The NQAT is a comprehensive rolling audit which is used on every ward at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) to assess standards of patient care and their experience. It was been introduced after your admission. Each NQAT audit is unannounced and involves 120 different checks and observations. There are 3 elements:

• patient experience survey,

• documentation audit

• observation of various aspects of ward safety and effectiveness.

The audit team is independent of the ward being audited with the team being comprised of senior nurses, trust personnel as well as patient representatives. As part of the process the assessment team talks to patients and relatives. They also review documentation and the ward environment while directly observing the care being delivered. Each ward then receives a grading, depending on the number standards achieved; Gold for 90% achievement , Silver 80%, Bronze 70%, or no award is made if the score is 69% or less. In 2011/12 80% of the wards achieved a silver score or above and no wards failed to achieve at least bronze. Re-audits are performed every 6, 4 or 2 months respectively depending on the grading which has been awarded. A re-review would be performed within a fortnight if no grade were achieved. The current score for the ward is Bronze.

I hope this will give you some confidence in the services should you need to attend. Thank you again for your comments and I have fed these back to the areas concerned.

Kind regards – Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints Team

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