"Ward 7 Waiting Room"

About: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

I attended ward 7 yesterday, following referral from the walk-in centre. On arrival, they had no notification of impending arrival, so was told to wait in the waiting room. The waiting room is the main issue around my disappointment with the ward. I arrived at around mid-day, and after a fairly short wait, I was booked in. I then went back to the waiting room - a real hothouse. At about 2pm, I then saw a junior doctor, who examined me, and advised that I would need to wait to see the surgeon, who was currently in theatre. That's fair enough, there was no way that I was an emergency of any kind, so off back to the waiting room to wait. As I'd just been seen, and didn't expect to be seen again any time soon, I took the opportunity to pop to M&S to get a sandwich and a drink. The next time anyone came to speak to me was at just gone 7pm. No updates, checking up of patients waiting, in almost 5 hrs. The water jug was not replenished in all the time I was there, and it was stifling. One noisy floor fan, and an air-con unit that wasn't on. I wandered over to the KPI board that was on the wall of the ward corridor, and noticed a section on feedback they'd had re the waiting room - it had been flagged as too hot so they'd installed a fan - perhaps the air-con could be looked at? It had been noted that there was a long wait, so they'd got an additional 6 (Ithink it was) staff for booking people in - all well and good - but booking you in quicker doesn't appear to shorten the total waiting time? And finally.........they'd introduced hrly checks in the waiting room to check on patients. In all the time I was there, no one came to check on anyone. I was fortunate in that I had been able to pop to the shop, but other people in there were fairly elderly, and wouldn't necessarily be able to treck all that way for a drink. You're almost frightened to nip to the loo in case someone comes to call you and you're not there. They really do need to follow up on the promised checks - there isn't much point in doing self-assessments, putting actions in place, and then not following through with them. That is what has prompted me to write this review.........the fact that issues were identified, actions "put in place", but then not actioned in reality. That said, when the surgeon came to see me, he did a procedure swiftly, and I was on my way. All the staff were lovely, and this isn't a critisism of them, more of the organisation, and failure to implement/audit the actions that were to be put in place.

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Response from Paul Jebb, Assistant Director of Nursing (patient experience), Clinical Governance, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Paul Jebb

Thank you for your comments, patient feedback - good or bad, is extremely useful to us in order to improve our services.

I am sorry you didn’t have a positive experience on our surgical assessment unit. I have spoken to the matron and the ward manager about the events which occurred during your stay and they would like to apologise and agree that the waiting area is less than adequate. They are currently in negotiations to see if they can move to a different facility as it is a small room especially if patients bring relatives with them.

Unfortunately the air conditioning is not working at the moment due to a problem with the electrics, the estates team are aware of this and are currently trying to fix it. The hourly checks in the waiting room are normally carried out without fail and refreshments are replenished, however on this day the checks were only signed for in the morning which isn’t acceptable. The Ward Manager has spoken with the staff involved and in the future they have agreed to nominate themselves for set times throughout the day to eliminate the thinking that someone else is doing it like in this instance.

The staff were pleased that despite this error you positively acknowledged their bedside manner and hope you can see how your feedback has been used to help improve the patient experience on the ward.

With best wishes for the future,

Paul Jebb

Assistant Director of Nursing - Patient Experience

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