"My mother's difficult experience in Macclesfield"

About: Macclesfield District General Hospital / Accident and emergency Macclesfield District General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as the patient),

All I can say about Macclesfield hospital is that the entire building needs cleaning. I was truly appalled by the conditions that I saw in the hospital. My mother had C Diff during her stay on wards 3 and 7. She died in Macclesfield hospital in July. My mother fell ill in her nursing home, and though we tried to get a GP to visit her, we could not get one to visit during the night. We had to call her an ambulance. My mother soiled herself in the ambulance, and they stripped the dirty clothes off her and placed them in a carrier. Now, that carrier bag followed my mother around the hospital for three days! It went with her from A&E (where we had to wait from 8pm until 1am for the one doctor on duty to give her a pain killer, when my mother was crying with agony), through the two wards she visited during her stay. We asked and asked for the bag to be removed, eventually having to threaten to inform that newspaper, before they disposed of the soiled material. From what I saw, the whole place seemed dirty. I'm not surprised the people get infections. Nobody insists visitors use the sink at entrance of the wards. People need educating about washing their hands. We should enforce this until they learn. I even saw blood stains on the floors for several days. There was soap dispenser at the sink near my mother's bed, which my family and I used regularly. However, after 3 days a doctor came and shouted at the nurse, informing her that this soap was not effective against C Diff. They changed the soap, but what about all the days before that? We had an appalling experience at Macclesfield.


Response from

We are very sorry to hear that you were not happy with the standards of cleanliness during your mother’s stay in hospital. We realise that the last few months must have been very difficult for you.

The hospital, as with most other hospitals, has seen an increase in recent years of cases of Clostridium difficile (C-diff), however we still remain below the national average level of infection. A number of measures have been undertaken recently to reverse this trend including rewriting the antibiotic policy of the Trust, introducing standardised care plans on the ward, increasing the numbers of side rooms for nursing patients with infection and promoting good hand hygiene with the introduction of sinks at the entrance to all wards.

We have a specific policy for the management of patients with C-diff. which includes:

• Symptomatic patients (patients with active diarrhoea) are isolated in a side room preferably with en suite toilet facilities. If the side room does not have en suite facilities a dedicated toilet or commode should be arranged.

• Appropriate gloves and aprons are required for staff giving direct patient care.

• The nurse in charge will advise staff and visitors of the precautions required. We ask visitors to wash their hands on the way in and out of the side room and to wear an apron.

• Hand wash facilities should be available with soap and water.

• Environmental cleaning with a chlorine containing sanitiser is instigated

• Alcohol gel is not effective against C-diff.

In addition we have a Good Practices Policy which details the personal protective equipment required by staff and a Specific Isolation Policy which details barrier nursing procedures required against specific organisms.

The Trust endeavours to communicate effectively with patients and their carers as the public have a key role alongside staff in preventing the spread of infection. The Infection Control Team request that the ward staff give information leaflets to patients who are identified with C-diff. If patients or relatives require further information there is a contact number on the back of the leaflet or the ward staff can contact a member of the team to arrange for a meeting to discuss any concerns or provide further information. There is also now a separate general Infection Control leaflet which does include laundry advice. We would like to apologise if you did not receive any of these leaflets.

The Infection Control Team also now undertake ward rounds each morning to review which patient’s require to be nursed in a side room. All patients who have been identified as having active watery diarrhoea are also nursed in side rooms as far as is practical.

As a hospital we work to the National Cleanliness Standards 2007 and as part of East Cheshire Trust’s commitment to improving hospital cleanliness, there is a rolling programme of deep cleaning. Enhanced cleaning is also required in side rooms that have infection control restrictions and this involves the domestic staff changing from the micro-fibre cleaning system to a mop and bucket system and using the appropriate disinfection. If a patient is known to have C-diff. the commode that is being used by that patient is cleaned with a hypochlorite solution (bleach).

In addition, as part of the Trust’s commitment to infection control, we have also been rolling out a programme of changing flooring from carpets to vinyl.

The hospital participates in the national ‘Clean your Hands’ campaign, hand wash basins have been installed at the entrance to every ward to highlight to staff and visitors the importance of washing your hands.

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