"Duty of Care, Hospital cleanliness & cleaning practice"

About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / Older people's healthcare Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / Respiratory medicine

(as the patient),

 I am a cancer patient in remission and as such have a low immune system and find it easy to pick up infections and hard to get rid of them. After a long reoccurring chest infection that did not clear with antibiotics and steroids from my GP, I developed pneumonia and dehydration causing shortness of breath and taken into hospital. After a long wait I was taken to Malbarton Ward and given a side room because of my immune system. I had this for the first few days and with treatment started to feel a little better and found it started to get easier to breath and considered I no longer had a respiratory problem, just needing further treatment for the fluid on my lungs. 

The doctors, nurses, assistant nurses and caterers where great, very professional and helpful and do not hold them at all responsible for what followed. They are hard working if not over worked! Very caring, and impeccable at duty level. What follows is the responsibility of the cleaning staff them also under pressure, so it lies with the blame to be shared between the hospital managers, trustees and the nnuh trust for cut back, over working staff and they should take full responsibility, listen to their staffs concerns and act upon them.
What follows; My story or bad experience.
I was moved to bay in one of the main wards late in the evening, this I believe is what I would call an 'end of life' ward. First thing I did was I needed the toilet before settling in for the night. The floor was covered in fetal excrement and soil pj's and towels. The toilet seat & handle (which I unknowingly touched) covered in hard fetal excrement, the same with all handles and taps too. I vacated it, told the first staff member I saw and it was closed for cleaning.
I went to my bay and saw under an empty bed opposite some toilet roll with excrement on it. With this I decided to check the rest of the ward, found used adult nappies, pj's over the floor the same.
I was in the ward all of five minutes, packed my bags and headed to the exit. I had decided in such un sanitary condition with my ill health and immune system, I was better off at home. I spoke to the nurse in charge at the desk and asked for release papers.
Explained my reasons, she was so helpful and understanding and said it was better I didn't leave as part way through course of intro venous antibiotics. I said if you cannot find me a bed on another ward then I was going home and you will have to send round a nurse to inject rest of Course. She phoned the hospital night manager who managed to do so.
Her and the rest of the staff are under so much pressure, and could not be at fault. The management needs to step up and take.responsibility and make changes to cope with an over crowded hospital and keep the cleanliness and hygiene to an acceptable level.

Being moved to another ward, that same Saturday evening that I was going to walk out and go home, the hospital opened a department as an extension ward that is only used Monday - Friday for day patients.

I soon learned the in - patient's methods of trying to remain clean/ hygienic and avoid further infections due to in - sanitary conditions, and how to avoid them.

Myself with my low immune system left safer and more hygienic using the public toilet just outside the ward where mobile incontinent would not use. I feel sorry for these patients, all they want to do is kept their dignity just that little bit longer, before being forced to wear an over sized diaper. I think that all it would take is a 24hrs cleaner on each floor that when they have an accident they can report it and it gets felt with swiftly so not to embarrass then.

I had mobile incontinence patients on my ward -when they go to the toilet I used the other one! Report conditions of other toilet and wait to see cleaners appear, then there's a made rush to get in there and have a shower knowing you DO come out cleaner than you go in!!!!

One night I reported four times to night auxiliary staff there was no hand soap in toilet it only takes two minutes to change one, in the end I took a hand anti - bacterial red pump bottle off the side and put that in there. I did ask why it wasn't changed having reported it four times, and was told it will be done by cleaners in the morning. I said, well in that case it should be closed till patients can leave it in a sanitary way - it remained open?

In the morning, while having breakfast a cleaner came in to our  ward. After just cleaning the ward next door. All they had in their hand was a used gray flannel cloth and a bottle of cleaner.

First they sprayed and cleaned the taps and sink, the bins and floor at the end of the ward next to my bed with this dirty cloth!!.

These sinks are used each time by the nurses or doctors who treat one patient think!  they sanitize there hands before moving on to next patient.

As this cleaner left the ward, they used the same cloth to clean human excrement off the floor before moving on to the next ward, presumably to do the same.

The cleaning staff obviously need more training so not to spread the Nora virus and diarrhea around the hospital!!!

Each floor needs a 24hr cleaning team available not just to bay sanitation after a patient has sadly past on or moved on, but for toilet sanitation available at the end of a call from staff.