"Lift failure causing patient accident"

About: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Working age mental health care (inpatient)

My Sister is currently in your Amberly Ward and has latter stages of Huntingtons Disease which makes her ability to walk difficult and her body moves involuntarily so she falls easily. Your lift from this ward has been out of action for 4 days now and we have been told the engineer came Saturday and it cannot be just fixed, no indication when this will be sorted at all, it is the only lift to two wards of patients which is disgusting. The first day it was out of action my Sister fell down the hard hospital stairs, no staff had made sure she was either not going to attempt the stairs or to help her. Since she has fallen I was told that we/her were supposed to ask staff to help her and when I approached one member she said my Sister “can” walk the stairs herself and I had insist with this member of staff that she “cant”. The ward is set up for the communal area to be on a different floor, which is where you have the dining/shopping/smoking areas and I am sure it is not just my Sister on those upper floors that has limited mobility or worse and without a lift cannot access the services downstairs to this part of of the hospital. This lift is also a problem for the visitors of the residents of these wards, for example my Father has Parkinsons and is not supposed to use the stairs at home let alone the ones in this part of the hospital. So either my Sister or my Father has to take the risk with the stairs for him to visit, being that unaided or not it is a big risk for both and not at all suitable. Warning to others with family in this area of the hospital.

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Response from Rachael Kenny, Head of Involvement, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for the time you have taken to give us your views. It is really important that we know where there are problems so that we can sort them out.

There is sometimes a time lag for technical reasons between the time a comment is made on public websites and me receiving notice of them. This has been the case here and so by this stage you will know that the Sussex Partnership Patient Advice and Liaison Service and Amberley ward manager have been talking with you and your family about the best way to resolve the problems.

The lift is now working and we are very sorry for the difficulties that it caused you.

kind regards

Rachael Kenny

Patient and Public Involvement Manager

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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