"Low staff numbers and poor nutrition on Acute Admissions Unit. "

About: Manchester Royal Infirmary / General medicine

(as the patient),

I was recently a patient on the acute medical unit. The few staff that were on duty were wonderful but the whole unit appears chaotic.

One staff nurse caring for eight poorly patients with occasional help from a health care assistant is in my view unsafe. I saw staff utterly stressed out and unable to deliver the standard of care that I'm certain they would want to. I saw patients repeatedly asking for pain relief or assistance and there was no help available for a lot of the time.

I felt very sorry for the staff and also annoyed that the ward sister appeared oblivious to the chaos around her and did not offer any practical help to her staff although she did manage to make herself several drinks.

As for nutrition for patients, I was offered soggy toast and cereal for breakfast. The toast was handled by the Sodexo staff with no gloves. My evening meal was soup which was cold and chocolate pudding. I asked for spoons and was told there were none available. I asked how I could eat my meal without spoons and just got a shrug of shoulders. I could not eat my food.

Come on Manchester Royal you have this new unit and have ruined it by providing poor or in my case no nutrition and dreadful staffing levels. I would not want to return to this hospital as an inpatient.

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Response from Pamela Azicate, Patient Experience Team, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking the time to post your comment on the NHS Choices – all the comments placed on here are read by senior members of staff from our Hospital.

Firstly, thank you for your kind comments in relation to the staff on the Acute Medical Unit (AMU). I am sorry that you felt the AMU was somewhat chaotic – it is a very busy unit with lots of people working on it and a large number of patients attend it every day. The purpose of the unit is to concentrate a significant amount of clinical expertise (doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, etc.) in one place so that when patients first arrive in hospital they can be quickly assessed by all relevant clinicians. This does however mean that the unit is at all times very busy. In order to ensure that patients are all seen by the appropriate clinicians there are designated ‘Coordinators’ whose role is to coordinate the care given to patients.

I’m sorry that you felt that the unit was short-staffed – I would like to assure you that the unit does have the correct staffing levels for the volume of patients that it deals with.

Your experience in relation to food is unacceptable and your comments have been passed on to the management team of Sodexo (the company who provide food on our wards) for them to investigate – your experience is not what we would expect to see on any of our wards.

If you would like to discuss your experience further with our team please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0161 276 5488.

Eve Koutidou

Patient Experience & Quality Project Officer

Central Manchester University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust

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