"Good care but poor facilities at Leeds General Infirmary"

About: Leeds General Infirmary / General surgery

(as the patient),

First, I'd like to say that the medical treatment I received was exceptional. The surgeon and registrars were confident and appeared to know exactly what they were doing and everything was done to cause me the least discomfort and apprehension in the procedure I had to undergo. Even the kitchen and cleaning staff were marvellous and I cannot praise them enough.

Unfortunately, though, the facilities and overall environment were appalling. I shall list just a few of the problems below.

1. At times I had the impression that I was in a 19th Century workhouse hospital. Full bedpans and urination bottles were left everywhere (I actually found one on a sink when I was brushing my teeth at night; it had not been visible in the semi-darkness of the ward).

2. I stepped out of bed one night in my bare feet and nearly slipped on a stream of urine stretching along the floor; needless to say I made my way to the bathroom and washed my feet thoroughly rather than risk infection.

3. One night I was awoken by a tremendous crashing noise. A few feet (literally) from my bed in, incidentally, a male ward, a woman was trying to smash her way through the glass window. She continued to do this for a minute or so. After she'd gone I found a trail of blood leading out of the ward from where she'd been standing. Surely she should have been isolated for her own sake to start with?

4. The smells in the ward were nauseating. Why is there no ventilation? Or none that is perceptible? Only once or twice did I see members of the staff using a deodorant spray. I cannot blame staff or patients, but why oh why did they need to empty colostomy bags and fill bedpans immediately before mealtimes?

5. I was in two different wards at different times. In the first there was no bulb overhead. When the maintenance people came, it took two of them to insert a bulb. That night the bulb shot out of its holder and smashed on the ground, missing my head by a few inches. In the second ward the bulb gave out after a few nights. When I requested a new bulb I was told, 'Around here bulbs are like gold dust.' Needless to say, no bulb ever arrived, in spite of my repeated pleas.

6. It may sound like sheer nitpicking, but why bring tea or coffee before or during the service of a meal? Most people prefer to have beverages afterward.

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