"Stay on Bergholt Ward"

About: Ipswich Hospital

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My young son has just had a stay on Bergholt Ward. This was made as easy as possible for him, he has a chronic condition which makes him feel very unwell at the best of times, So to have an infection on top was stressful for him. The staff could not have made him feel more at ease, the Paediatric Assessment Unit, processed him fai quickly and kindly at a busy time, and he was soon on Bergholt.. I noticed the regular cleaning on the ward, and how attentive the staff were despite the number of children in their care. The nurses great with all detail, and the medical staff, who saw my teenager paid great attention to the whole picture, which had I might add, been written up carefully by our own doctor's surgery, (including the chronic conditions which exist in our family). I work for a medical charity on line, plus I also engage with another one in the Harley Street area, I shall certainly feedback our positive experience. Also our family uses two other hospitals in London regularly, whichgives us the chance to compare facilities in a modern manner. Basically this was a friendly, well run, user friendly facility for children and their parents.

The only fly in the ointment was access to meals for myself. I have five autoimmune conditions and avoid gluten. Having recently recovered from flu and an antibiotic allergy. I was in no position to walk to the shops locally, due to swollen feet. My husband, miles away - in a very rural post code, was busy looking after our other child who is currently very unwell at the moment with two autoimmune conditions. I was left, having tried a local chain store, (all salads contained pasta), existing on nuts and raisins, plus fruit, and the only gluten free product in in the coffee shop which was a cake. The last hot meal I had was Thursday evening, this continued through to Monday, the fruit and nuts existence, plus one avocadoe and two tomatoes, given to me by a visitor to another patient. So... whether or not you close the canteen at the week-end, leaving only the coffee shop open. There is an ethical issue for the hospital to consider here. The food trolleys operated by an outside company, should have a facility for parent's to be able to buy a hot meal, as it is common knowledge that all left over food is thrown away. To have been able to even buy a baked potatoe would have been useful. Also in these times of not being wasteful this is very very wrong. Wrong in terms of pastoral care to parents isolated looking after ill children, and wrong to be so wasteful in this day and age. I would have been happy to pay for a meal. In the same way as I was more than grateful for the parent's room being provided and I made a decent donation to the tea and coffee fund. This is an issue which needs sorting swiftly with some modern attention to detail.

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Response from Ipswich Hospital

Thank you very much for this valuable feedback. We have set up a small team of colleagues to introduce changes.

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