"depressing, couldn't wait to leave"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

Anything else?

I had a very short stay on Fleming ward, which is an elderly male medical ward in the old Barry building (I am female and aged 61!). I was given a side room but had to share a bathroom with the elderly gentlemen. So much for the "same sex declaration of compliance". My room was very clean (though dark and depressing) but the toilet in the shared bathroom nearest me was dirty and consequently I put up with a full bladder & used it as little as possible. A dressing, presumably from a previous patient, had been left in the shower so I didn't use that either. In addition, the side rooms are opposite the kitchen, where the staff have the radio tuned to Heart radio at considerable volume all day (it was still playing at 10pm), for their own entertainment. It was turned off at my request, but apparently the radio is common practice. The staff I met (nurses, HCAs, cleaners) were lovely - really kind, attentive, and nothing too much trouble - but the ward is very dark and infinitely dispiriting. It doesn't appear to have been decorated in many years. I can only imagine how awful it must be to endure an extended stay in such a grim place. I was not reassured by a notice on the ward which stated that the last case of c.difficile was 4 weeks ago. Surely this is nothing to be proud of. I was receiving intravenous antibiotics for an infection, and knew from experience that I should stay in hospital for a lot longer than I did. However I did not feel safe on Fleming ward, particularly when one nurse tried to give me a second IV dose when I had only just had the drug - this was a very powerful drug and an overdose could have had very serious consequences - luckily I was awake and alert. Being on regular antibiotics, I was aware of the risk of contracting c.diff & felt at risk from the state of the shared bathroom. Therefore I kept my true condition from the drs in order to be discharged as quickly as possible, and the consequence was that the infection was not properly cleared and my health has suffered in ensuing months. The staff are a credit to the ward, despite the drug mistake. But I would not consent to be treated on Fleming ward in future.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

Thank you for your comments.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact our PALS Team on 01273 664973 or by email at pals@bsuh.nhs.uk.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Team

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