"Failure to remedy Clenliness/Hygene issue in AAU..."

About: Watford General Hospital

Friday 25 April, my partner was taken ill whilst attending a patient panel event and subsequently was admitted to A&E via the Ambulance Services at about 2PM.She remained in RESUS until nearly midnight when she was transferred to AAU Blue Bay 39. No explanation was offered for teh 10 hour wait in RESUS. I returned to the hospital to visit her, the following day Saturday 26th, arriving at about noon. We both witnessed a very confused elderly lady in the bay opposite (Blue Bay 41) have an accident soiling her and much of the bay including one of the draw curtains surrounding the bay. The nurses responded immediately and magnificently to care for the lady in question. We observed one of the nurses noting the soiled curtain and return a few minutes after with a ‘housekeeping’ staff member to point out the item that required urgent remedy. The time was about 1.30PM. Notwithstanding neither the curtain nor the immediate area was isolated, nor marked as contaminated. For several hours after I observed staff inadvertently brushing against the faces, on the said curtain. Frustrated at this quite blatant continuance of lack of hygiene, and unable to allow this unacceptable situation continue, I approached the nurses station to draw their attention to the fact that I a visitor and member of public had observed the failure of hygiene and lack of remedy despite considerable time period has elapsed. Whilst expressing sympathy for the nursing staff, I suggested that they perhaps need to be more forthright and insist that housekeeping act to remedy this serious breach to hygiene in the ward. This revelation had the desired effect as it elicited immediate action. The housekeeping returned (a different person) to survey the soiled curtain once again, at 6.15PM. The contaminated curtain was eventually replaced at 6.45pm. A dividing curtain soiled with fresh faces, approximately 1 foot off ground, in a busy ward remained un-isolated and un-replaced for nearly 6 hours, arguably being remedied only due to the intervention of member of public.

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