"Epsom kept my sister in law alive, ..."

About: Epsom Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Epsom kept my sister in law alive, and just about managed her condition till transfer to a more specialst hospital capable of operating on a brain aneurism.

The contact that was evidently occurring with a consultant in St George's showed that the A&E staff did understand this patient's condition.

Admission to A&E was quick.

What could be improved

The ICU was full and the care in the 5th floor step-down ward that was used for 2 days was high-risk. It had dirty carpet on the floors; cigarette ends were lying around at the door to the ward; the majority of nursing and cleaning staff failed to use the alcohol wash facilities provided; the patients could not be seen from the nurse station; there were no continuous heart/blood pressure monitoring facilities on this ward (which was needed for this patient having a systolic BP of ~ 200); and attendance by relatives continuously was essential to alert staff to fluctuations in the patient's condition - -which did occur -- and get the patient moved back into ICU.

It appeared therefore to be more by luck than care quality that death was avoided.

Story from NHS Choices

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