"Poor management, very busy staff"

About: Warrington Hospital

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My mother was in Warrington Hospital for a routine hip replacement. The staff were generally helpful and responsive but there were a number of worrying trends in the way the hospital is managed. On arrival, the operation changed from a double hip operation to a single hip replacement with no prior discussion or warning. That day little food was available with no plans to ensure that my diabetic mother was properly fed. My mum's drug chart went missing for several hours one evening and finally turned up in another patient's file. Apparently a doctor had wandered off with it and left it in the wrong patient file but there was no interest in recording the episode as a 'near miss'. The food was overall very poor with sandwiches, curled up salad and strange concoctions of slightly warm meals. I took her hot food each day. I know budgets are very tight but nutritious food should be the norm. There were usually clusters of staff sat around in the nurses station chatting away about their social lives but no urgency to responding quickly to queries or concerns. Some nurses had a great attitude but others were tired and looked frankly broken by the system. On day three she was suddenly moved from a side room to the main ward without warning. However staff didn't warn me so at visiting time I walked into the room to find a large tattooed gentleman standing over what I thought was my mother in bed (she was shielded so I couldn't see the lady). As I was greatly alarmed the ensuing fracas was averted when a nurse arrived and just shrugged. The cost of using the complicated combined telephone/TV/internet boxes by each bed is extortionate. We spent £90 over five days so my mum could receive calls and watch TV (she doesn't use computers). The cost is fixed and on a timer so even if it isn't used the credit runs out. It is a cash cow for the supplier. Nurses must hate the system as patients and visitors were constantly asking them questions on how to use it. On discharge, it took two and half hours to find a member of staff to collect a simple prescription, although I was very willing to go and collect it on the way out. It meant the bed was blocked for two and half hours and couldn't be used for other patients. The care wasn't awful but neither was it gold standard. It seems Warrington Hospital considers mediocre as hitting heady heights of patient care.

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Response from Warrington Hospital

Thank you for leaving your feedback with us. We'd be pleased to look in more detail at some of the issues you have raised with us if you wanted to contact us. Please do so by emailing our Patient Advice and Liaison Service at pals@whh.nhs.uk We can only further improve our service by looking in more detail at your feedback and comments which are really important to us.

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