"Shoddy with glimpses of outstanding practitioners"

About: Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

What I liked

The Shropdoc service that worked really effectively for my admission.

The quick and efficient x-ray service.

The care and consideration shown by a couple of the nurses towards the old boys on the ward was heartwarming (I will be reccomending them on the hospital web site for an award so I hope I don't get a generic reply from the hospital suggesting this)

What could be improved

1) The appaling lack of doctors at the weekend. I was seen for a couple of minutes on Friday and then never again (discharged myself on Sunday)

2) The frustration of trying to get discharged and waiting for five hours for a simple assessment for discharge.

3) Feeling forced to self discharge and sign a waiver when the only other option would be to spend another night and wait for the doctors to reappear on Monday. This has now pushed their work onto my GP where I will have to go to get an assessment to return to work.

4) The lack of handwashing between patients. During my stay of a couple of days I only saw one member of staff (a private contractor) use the gel by beds to wash hands. Never once did I see anyone else use them.

5) The spelling mistakes from patient booklet.

6) Toast in the morning rather than bread with a pack of butter and marmalade (do I look like Paddington Bear?)

7) Feedback forms at the end of visit (check out the hillariously bad score the hospial receives on this area in the leage tables)

8) Any kind of feedback from the x-rays that were taken.

9) A junior doctor that could provide an assessment without worrying about treading on the 'oh so precious toes' of the consultants.

10) The locks on the bathroom doors (see other comments for details)

Anything else?

As this is the first time I have been in hospital it was a real eye opener. I feel that the patients should not be able to tell it is the weekend unless the choose to check. I felt like the hospital is run for the convenience of the consultants and not for the safety of the patients. On Saturday and Sunday there was a definate shortage which was acknowledged by all the staff.

I am also amazed that there appear to be such obvious contamination issues with the bathrooms that have not been addressed. The last thing you touch when you come out is the door lock, which is the first thing touched when the previous patient went in. Unless you then wash your hands again afterwards with the gel you will have picked up goodness knows what. I am no germ freak but that seems to put the hospital bathrooms in a worse category as those of a motorway service station where you can wash your hands and push the exit door with a foot.

My stay was only two days on Acute 33. Thank goodness it was no longer. I was only in for difficulty breathing and am a fit and healthy 42 year old. Some of the dodgy hygiene could have finished off some of the old boys I was in with. I spent half my time on the Sunday helping them out as the nurses were nowhere to be seen.

The final point I would like to make is a criticism of myself. Why didn't I raise these points at the time with the staff? Because it is hard to do and I don't seek conflict. If it was just one nurse who didn't wash their hands between patients it would be easier. But who has the courage to tell them all (except one). If the system works then I have played my part by spending all this time typing these comments. If the hospital would prefer me to have fedback directly to them, then why have they not made that easy? Do I feel these comments made on their own site would be acted upon? No I don't. So I apologise for my lack of courage at the time and hope this makes up for it.

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Response from Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Please accept our most sincere apologies that it has taken too long to respond to your comments, particularly after you took the time, trouble and courage to share them. We have faced technical problems with using this website but this is still unacceptable. We would be really keen to talk to you about this if you have not already contacted the hospital direct. The NHS Choices website does not share your contact details with us, so please get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service. The PALS office is located near the main Ward Block entrance at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. It is normally open Mon-Thu 9am-5pm and Fri 9am-4.30pm. You can also contact them by telephone on 01743 261691 and 0800 783 0057, and there is an answerphone to take messages outside opening hours. Please note that PALS staff may be busy with other patients or relatives when you call, so please accept our apologies if they are not available immediately to take your call. More information about PALS is available from our website at http://www.sath.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/pals The issues you raise about weekend services are really timely. There is a wide ranging debate under way right now about the best way to provide hospital services in the future. I would strongly encourage you to get involved and share your experiences, hopes and concerns so that this can influence what the county’s hospital services look like in the years ahead. You can get involved via the websites of your local GP commissioner at www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk/call-to-action or www.telfordccg.nhs.uk/call-to-action

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