"Some of the staff in ITU are very ..."

About: Queen Alexandra Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Some of the staff in ITU are very helpful and informative, when asking about ongoing treatment for a family member that is currently in intensive care.

What could be improved

The cleanliness of the hospital. My step father was in F ward for a colon reversal operation one week ago. There were remains of what looked like blood mixed with something else on the floor. This had been cleaned up, but it was as though a spillage had occurred, been mopped up, but not cleaned.

The above person has also been in the crital care unit after having had a heart attack about 6 months or so ago. The monitors on his chest were very dirty. I used a tissue with some water and a small amount of liquid soap to clean them which was grey with dirt. I also wiped up a spillage on the floor and then cleaned the bedside table in the same manner. The tissue was very dirty after cleaning both.

ITU was very clean however.

Staff in ITU need to be made aware of correct policies with regard to keeping family members informed. It had been agreed that to prevent numerous phone calls to ITU, we would ring his daughter rather than phone the hospital for updates. I went to visit this evening and was informed that he was being prepared for an operation and that the daughter had requested that all updating as to his condition be given only through her. I was unable to assertain from the nurse why the operation was being performed, even though the nurse was aware that I was his step daughter. I found this very upsetting to have it implied that I couldn't know how he was without trying to contact the daughter. On contacting the daughter this was not correct. I felt very angry at the thought that I was unable to be involved in being updated as to a family members progress, because of incorrect information from a member of staff. It's hard enough to come to terms with a family member being in intensive care, without being told that I can't know how he is doing when I call in to visit him! The staff member was very kind, but please make sure they get their facts right. This was done to assist too many phone calls being made to a busy ITU.

Story from NHS Choices

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Responses

Response from Queen Alexandra Hospital

We would like to assure members of the public that our staff do their best to inform families about the condition of their loved one and that this is done within the normal confines of patient confidentiality. Confidentiality issues are particularly difficult within the intensive care area because the patient is usually unconscious and therefore unable to give any guidance At times it can be difficult for staff to manage communication with large family groups and we very often agree with a family that just one member will ring in for information and that they will then cascade this information to other family members. Sometimes, depending on family dynamics, the family may request that information is given only to this one person. Other family members then ringing in may be distressed or confused when staff will not give them information.

Staff do their best to comply with the wishes of families.

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