"Nice staff, noisy hospital"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

My relative has been in the new QE twice recently. We are grateful for the care he received. Staff were kind, careful, and professional. He had prompt, appropriate treatment. Everyone was concerned to help. But he had very little sleep (4 hrs over 3 nights during the first admission). There was constant noise (day and night) - staff walking and talking noisily (even at 3 am), multiple monitors beeping, bin lids thumping, doors slamming, beds & trolleys knocking doors/walls, tea & meal trolleys rattling, phones (land lines and mobiles). Patients need sleep to recover. It is obvious that this hospital strives continuously to improve standards. He was moved 5 times (several departments - option not listed) in a total of five days (including at night). Did you receive Sir Bruce Keogh's recent letter to hospitals?

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your relative’s experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and for your very kind words about the staff that cared for him. It is a real morale boost for staff to receive feedback like this from patients and their relatives. It means such a lot to know that the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff is recognised and valued in this way. It is also very satisfying for staff to hear they have made such a difference and made sure your relative’s experience under our care has been mainly positive. We are very disappointed however to hear that noise was a problem for your relative, especially at night time. Being able to rest and sleep whilst in hospital is such an important part of recovery and contributes enormously to the overall experience. We are aware that patients do experience disturbed rest and sleep and we take this very seriously. We have done a significant amount of work during the last 4 years to address this issue. We conducted an audit across the whole trust that looked at the hospital environment, and asked staff and patients for their views on what made it difficult to rest and sleep. We used the results to help us introduce a number of things designed to improve the experience of patients. These include; • Guidelines for staff to help patients rest and sleep • A patient leaflet with tips to help aid rest and sleep • A patient leaflet with relaxation exercises • Soft close bins introduced across the trust to reduce noise • A sleep kit for patients with ear plugs and an eye mask designed by staff & patients • Education for all staff groups to raise awareness of how they can help We will be re-auditing this year to see the full impact of these actions, although we know from our national and local patient survey results that we have seen a significant improvement in the experience of patients. We recently won a national patient experience award for this piece of work. It is particularly disappointing therefore to find that there are areas across the trust where patients are still experiencing problems with rest and sleep. We are very keen to find out more about which areas of the trust your relative visited so that we can investigate what went wrong and take action to improve the experience for future patients. If you and your relative are happy to supply this information please make direct contact with the Patient Experience team via email patientexperience@uhb.nhs.uk or telephone us on 0121 371 4491/2 Thank you once again for taking the time to tell us about your relative’s experience.

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