"communication and cleanliness leave a lot to be..."

About: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (King's Lynn)

Was anxious about going into this hospital (1-night stay on surgical admissions) given its reputation. As I wasn't seriously ill was able to observe more than someone not in a position to notice - I do hope I never have to go here for an extended stay.... 1. Nursing and ward staff were unfailingly kind, helpful and patient. They could do with some dementia training - simple things like giving a confused patient a whiteboard the patient can see, telling the patient where they are, that her spouse is coming soon, etc, can do wonders.... 2. Only ONE of any of the medical staff I saw, in c. 30 hours, used hand cleaner between patients. Nobody appeared to use it on entering wards (staff and public). Nobody enforced this. A nurse who came to take my blood pressure after moving an elderly patient had gloves still on from that - they protected her, but not me. PLEASE train and enforce this as routine for all staff and visitors - you have reception staff there who can simply ask politely .... 3. Junior/trainee consultants - one in particular morphed from imperious 'consultant circa 1950s' manner (and bullying junior nursing staff ) to sycophant on return of the consultant boss. Neither confidence inspiring nor reassuring. Other trainees regarded my closed cubicle as a place to confer over another patient - I am a sentient being, as was my accompanying husband, last time I looked. 4. Food was genuinely not fit for pigs. And icecream doesn't travel well over long distances in non-refrigerated trolleys - liquid by the time it got to me. 5. Inter-dept communication terrible - airily told by consultant 'well you won't get a scan after 6pm of course, you can't expect that...', at 7pm porter arrived to take me to scan. Next morning imperious consultant was unaware it had been taken - I gave my 'diagnosis' rather than v.v. I am aware of the challenges NHS Trusts face in terms of finance/cuts, but a huge amount of this seems to be an inherent, and entrenched lack of 'joined-up thinking' rather than solely driven by financial imperatives. The on-the-ground nursing staff are obviously trying hard and doing well, and they deserve better, too.

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Response from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide such considered feedback on your time in hospital. I am sorry that some of the behaviours and practices you witnessed did not meet the standards that we require and that there was evidence of poor communication and understanding at times. Your comments will be shared with all the staff concerned and will be followed up to ensure improvements in practice. Thank you for comments on the nursing staff, I am glad that you both witnessed and received the kindness and care that we would wish to provide. If you would like to discuss any of these matters further please do contact me directly. Claire Roberts Tel: 01553 613459 email: claire.roberts@qehkl.nhs.uk

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