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"Hygiene and mask policy is a nonsense"

About: Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital

First of all I have left this review in the trust website as well because it wasn't made clear that there were at least 3 different category names for the same hospital. You may delete the other one but this website seems more widely used so please leave it here. Here we go:

I attended the pre op assessment unit prefab at Basingstoke Hospital 16th May 2022 with my 85 yr old frail mother in law, who needed mobility assistance and had asked me to attend the appointment with her to help explain things.

I am a retired nurse myself.

There is no waiting area and we had to ring the doorbell and wait to be let in. After I was allowed past the door I was asked to wear a mask, my mother in law complied but I said I preferred not to as they caused my glasses to steam up and I might cause an accident hazard.

A nurse said that as an exemption: “that’s not good enough”. In the ensuing discussions I was challenged by 2 separate nurses each of whom reported every exchange to the matron who remained in an office nearby and relayed instructions.

I was asked if I would wear a face shield instead which I declined

I was asked if I would wear an N95 which I declined

I said that if they told me to go I would leave but this could affect the exchange of useful information with my mother in law.

I happened to notice that the entire area was choked in jubilee bunting, which considering the low ceiling would have a detrimental affect on ventilation and also act as a breeding area for germs.

I also informed them that at a preceding appointment in the Day Treatment Unit several people were not masked and a Doctor was wearing their mask below their nose from where it occasionally slipped below the mouth in spite of their fiddling with it. Not that I cared one jot as they were very polite and helpful.

The nurse in the pre op unit present responded “I can’t believe that”

My mother in law was then asked if she minded if I wasn’t with her, she replied that she didn’t mind so I left.

It is very important that the elderly are allowed accompanying relatives. In fact my mother in law required a further admission only a few days ago for a suspected broken shoulder and again was not allowed to have her daughter accompany her. She was discharged at 2 am with no handover, and obviously had no idea of her diagnosis.

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Responses

Response from Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital 2 months ago
Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital
Submitted on 13/06/2022 at 12:46
Published on nhs.uk at 12:54


Dear Ben,

Thank you for taking the time to share you recent experience of our services.

We remain committed to focussing on infection prevention practices in our hospitals in order to protect our patients and our staff. This includes the correct use of surgical face masks by all those who move around our hospitals. Exemptions to the use of masks currently include children under the age of 5, and people living with a physical or learning disability.

We do try to ensure that alternative face shields are offered to patients and visitors. I am sorry that you did not feel the alternative measures offered to you were of use as I appreciate you wanted to support your Mother in Law at her appointment.

We provide regular reminders to both staff and visitors of the importance the correct use of face masks has in reducing the spread of infection and I am very sorry you found inconsistencies amongst our staff.

Our Pre-Assessment Department will shortly be undergoing some changes, which will include the installation of a waiting area for patients and visitors, and this should help with the patient and visitor experience.

If you would like to discuss your experience further then please contact our customer care team on 01256 486767 or cusotmercare@hhft.nhs.uk.

Kind Regards

Alex Whitfield

Chief Executive

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