"Hospital - sooner be ill at home!"

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary

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I have attended the RLI a number of times over the years, each time I have been disappointed with the lack of care, but mostly with the horrendous food they provide. The last time I was in was when I had severe chest pains, I asked A&E Nurse for some water, an hour later when she came back to me I asked again for water, she said I was going for an x-ray and could have some when I got back. When I got back I asked her again, she said she would get it. About half an hour later she returned to say I was going onto MAU. When I got into MAU there was no water on the bedside, so I asked the Nurse there if she could get me some, she said she would. This she did not do. She came around taking BP's and discussing her saturday shopping trip, which she was more interested in. I asked her again for water and she said sorry she would get it. About half an hour later she brought it. I was then asked what I wanted to eat, they first offered me half a salad sandwich, as they did not know where the other half was! I said no thanks (no idea where this had been!), I was then offered cauliflower and broccili cheese - this looked awful, dried up and disgusting. I said no again, so they offered me curry, there was about 2 tablespoons of rice around a lump of what I could only describe as something my dog does when we go for a walk. I told them I did not want anything, as I could not eat that (I have experienced the food before a couple of times, each time it was disgusting - would not feed it to my dog). I was then offered a coffee, which when given was luke warm - but I drank it, as I was so thirsty by then. I then told the nurse to take my canular out as I was going home, she said "oh is the doctor letting you go", I told her no, I was just going, as I could not take it anymore. I was in a room full of very elderly ladies, two of which had dementia and no-one seemed to look after them, despite their condition. The care they received was awful, dementia patients should be cared for at all times. The other lady was crying a lot, but no body bothered with her. I talked to them and tried to help them with a drink of water etc, but this was not my place to do this. I could no longer stay and watch these poor ladies being ignored most of the time and not cared for to the full attention they required. This along with the food I had enough and the doctor came to see me, I expressed my wish to go and he reluctantly said I could. I would sooner be ill at home than set foot inside the RLI again and would not recommend this to anyone. I dread to think if my parents end up there, as the care for the elderly is to say the least, appalling. It is bad when people would sooner be ill at home and care for themselves than go into the hospital and face the poor care and attention they pay their taxes for.

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Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

We’re very sorry for your experience with us and would like to investigate this further with you. Our catering team deliver fresh sandwiches daily and can also provide a hot meals to patients. We’d therefore ask if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01539 795497 and we will look into the concerns you have raised and respond directly to you

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