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"Fracture operation at Northampton - delays and cold wards"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Several weeks ago i fell & broke my knee. I was taken to northampton general where i waited 2 hrs for painkillers & five hours to see a dr.i was left in a wheelchair & in agony. I did have an xray & waited till 11:30 pm.not being told how long i'd have to wait before being admitted. My son was livid & i went home coming back on mon.

There i was told what was wrong & a plaster was put on & i was sent to mainfield theater asuming i would have surgery the next day.

No. I had scan done & waited till thur when i saw a doc.who told me exactly what was wrong & that surgery would be the following week. I ask to go home. Came back the following monday & told something totally different. Had surgery that day, moved to Ceder ward where it was unbelievably cold. I mentioned this & the nurses who i might add were wonderful & the care i got was brilliant. They said they had asked for the heating to be turned on & were told No. i & another lady had to have 3 blankets on & even that wasn't enough. I suffer from asthma as well as arthritis & the cold didn't help.

I was also disgusted with the smell in the toilets. I had to use the male ones to start with (as the ladies was too far for me) & they made me feel sick. The ladies was clean but there should have been wipes to use on the seat before using them.

i don't feel the ward was clean enough. The food i had was awful. I won't even go there.i'm on a special diet & no one seemed to be able to cater for my needs. I was quite happy with a salad and hard is that?

I found it uncomfortable being on the same ward as men. The nurses as i said were wonderful & did a fantastic job even though they were so cold you could see them shivering.

I pray i never have to spend time in any hospital ever again. I was told three different things about my injury. Can't people get together?

Finally i didn't like having to wait 9 days before surgery.

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Response from Northampton General Hospital 17 years ago
Submitted on 22/11/2006 at 17:50

I'm sorry you had such a difficult time. I'm not sure of exactly when you were in Northampton but 98% of patients coming to our A&E wait less than 4 hours before begin admitted or discharged.

Within our A&E dept we have a triage system and Emergency Nurse Practitioner’s who take a great pride in ensuring patients are offered pain relief as soon as possible. I'm sorrry if this did not happen on this occasion.

I am concerned about the temperature on the ward and have asked our estates department about this who say that if asked the heating on wards is always turned on. I know from experience that it is always difficult trying to get the ward temperature correct - we have as many complaints about wards being too hot as too cold.

All toilets are clearly identified as Male or Female and staff are happy to take patients to the toilet if asked to do so. Each ward has a clear schedule for toilet cleaning each day and we are in the process of producing signs to go into each toilet area asking patients to inform us immediately if the facilities require attention.

Finally with regard to being on a mixed ward we have every sympathy with her on this but to have single sex wards would prevent us treating as many patients. This would mean some patients waiting longer for their operation.

To try and over come some of these communication issues the hospital is about to produce a bedside booklet to give patients general information about how we can help each other with a number of the issues raised in this opinion.

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