"Friendly but unprofessional"

About: William Harvey Hospital

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This review is based on my recently visiting a hospitalised friend in the Rotary Ward. The staff I encountered, mainly nurse, ward assistant and nurse assistant (?) were all extremely friendly and made the patient feel at ease. I also believe my friend received good medical care and the room was very private. However, the overall impression of the ward was of sloppy standards.

There were large dustballs from what looked like the last month or two drifting behind the chair and bed, which had obviously not been moved or even approached during cleaning. The fan in the toilet was not working, leaving a disgusting damp and mouldy smell in the toilet. Apparently the shower area was not very clean either. Paper towels were only available from a dispenser outside the toilet. There was a notice on the room wall asking patients to use either the disinfectant liquid or wipes (with pictures of both) - unfortunately, neither were to be seen. There was only a dispenser of liquid soap over the sink.

Before meal time, my friend was shown a menu and asked for her choice of meal. Once the meal arrived, it was the wrong one. Upon enquiry, it turned out the preferred choice was no longer available. Although friendly, the meals assistant did not seem confident of her English skills and perhaps avoided talking to the patient for this reason. Secondly, upon scrutinising the ingredients list of the new meal choice, we discovered it contained egg which my friend is highly allergic to, even in the smallest amount (a fact she had communicated the previous day and been assured she would not be offered any egg). We returned the meal to the meal assistant and nurse who seemed at a loss about what to do next. The nurse who also was extremely friendly but seemed overworked soon returned with the same meal, assuring us it did not contain egg. We pointed to the ingredients list, and finally a soup materialised.

In sum, the treatment was very human in both good and bad - good in terms of friendliness, but the presence of 'human' error seemed far too high for a hospital ward. In this environment you would expect high strandards of cleanliness, hygiene and attention to detail in every respect. The staff did not appear well trained, or perhaps did not have a high morale in this respect. I hope these issues are addressed in the future.

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Response from William Harvey Hospital

Thank your for your feedback. Whilst we are pleased to hear that you found the staff friendly, that overall you felt the possibility for human error was high, and that there were issues regarding cleanliness on the ward, the food and that there was no disenfectant liquid or wipes were available. We have reported your concerns immediately to the Ward Manager and Matron responsible for the Rotary Suite and have also raised the issue with Serco, who provide our cleaning services and catering. We value all feedback as a learning tool with which to make improvements and your comments have also been noted onto our database to monitor any themes or trends.

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