"Basic facilities in Warrington's day ward"

About: Warrington Hospital / Diabetic medicine

(as the patient),

As a long term type 2 adult onset diabetic, who has had many of the problems associated with long term diabetes, i.e. retinopathy, neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, nephropathy and coronary atrial fibrillation; I had long since learned the importance of correct diabetic control.

So it was with great reluctance, on admittance to Warrington General Hospital, in January this year, (for the removal of a large non-malignant tumour which had formed in my inner thigh), I handed over my diabetic control equipment together with my other medication.

All went smoothly until after the successful procedure to remove the tumour, when the following day my blood sugar readings went through the roof. The Staff Nurse had administered the normal amount of insulin that as recommended, but the operation had probably sent my system haywire.

A duty Doctor was summoned and seemed puzzled but recommended that I be given 5 units of insulin and my readings to be taken two hourly, I was told the next reading would be taken at 11pm.

The nurse looking after me was concerned when the next results were no different at this 11pm reading. She proceeded to administer 5 units of insulin and informed me that she would need to monitor me every two hours and repeat the 5 unit insulin dose.

I became very upset and agitated as I was very tired and not feeling well and the thought of having to woken and given what I considered a waste of time dose every two hours was intolerable. I asked not to be disturbed any further.

The following day despite my readings being still very high, I was asked if I would object to being moved to a Day ward. I was told the bed was urgently required for another patient.

I was then taken to what I would describe as a “rest room”. There were eight beds without any bedding, no wardrobes, just a large plastic bin for your clothes. There was a tiny hand basin in the toilet with no other personal hygiene facilities. I am sure that that had health and safety been informed of the standards being observed, the ward would have been closed.

There were six other patients sitting on the beds, each with different medical problems, some quite serious, including a young man who had only that day had his appendix removed.

There were no telephones or access to one, we were not allowed to use mobiles, and it was a dreadful experience that should not be allowed to happen in any NHS hospital.

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Response from

Thank you for submitting your comments I am very sorry that you had cause for a complaint and that you felt that our services fell below the standards you and the hospital expects. Without knowing your exact details it is difficult to respond to all the issues you have raised, however I hope the following will be of value and some reassurance to you. It is good clinical practice when a person with diabetes is unwell to monitor blood glucose levels more frequently, there is a need to ensure that blood glucose monitoring is increased and if treated with insulin, often extra doses of insulin are required. Indeed the plan of care which you state you were offered is the advice I would have given if , had I been asked. As you state that you did not wish any further intervention with your diabetes control the nurse in charge would have had to respect that request and would only be able to try and explain the rationale behind the management plan that was suggested. We are currently updating our handbook for people with diabetes, and I hope you will see that this is actually the information that we will be publishing to all patients with diabetes within the Warrington, Halton and St. Helens area. I hope that this explains things a little clearer, and that on reflection you can now understand the rationale behind your inpatient care plan however if you would like to discuss it further please contact me by email. Thank you for raising these issues and I hope that this is an acceptable response for you. Lesley Mills Senior Diabetes Nurse Specialist
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Response from

Response from Unscheduled Care Division Our investigation has revealed that this gentleman was transferred to the Daresbury Day Ward due to the pressure on beds. We fully accept that this area is less than satisfactory and the patient complaint is entirely justified. With regard to the future, the Trust is urgently trying to implement a plan to ensure that patients can be admitted to appropriate areas at times of peak demand. This plan will be implemented in mid-September by transferring a ward to Halton Hospital, thus freeing up an empty ward on the Warrington site. This ward will have the full range of facilities and ensure that patients can be afforded the proper privacy and dignity which they are entitled to expect.
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