"Problems at Manchester Royal Cardiac Unit"

About: Trafford General Hospital / Cardiology

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

I spent ten days at Manchester Royal Cardiac Unit having a cardiac bypass and didn't eat for most of the time I was in there because the food, (provided by Sodexo), was so bad. It was unhealthy, lacking in nutrition and being vegetarian, the vegetarian options were very limited. They were all full of cheese. I don't think the other patients ate it either, and one said they could get a better, more nutritious meal at McDonalds.

You can't fault the staff, they're very dedicated, but they are very understaffed.

Once, when I was the only person who was mobile on the ward, another patient had a fall, onto her face. I shouted for help and the staff came. While they were helping her, I heard one of the staff say "does nothing f***ing work in here". I know that not all the equipment does work, so, on top of being understaffed, the staff are stressed out because of the problems with equipment.

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the Patient Opinion website about your experiences within the Manchester Heart Centre following cardiac surgery. The Trust’s Cardiac Unit is located at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and not at Trafford General Hospital as mentioned in the posting. It is very difficult to respond to the specific concerns you have raised without being able to investigate in detail. The Cardiology Department sincerely apologise in relation to the comments you overheard by a member of the nursing team This is unacceptable behaviour and your concerns have been addressed in the appropriate forum. With reference to the shortage of nursing staff, I can confirm that all vacant posts have been filled on the cardiology ward.

Your comments about the catering have been reviewed by Mrs Kathryn Mitchell; Deputy Head of Facilities in liaison with Sodexo Healthcare our private sector partners and Mrs Mitchell is sorry that you were not happy with the quality of the food received. We work closely with our food provider and the Trust dieticians on a continual basis to ensure that we implement a food service that meets the nutritional needs of all our patients. We always try to ensure that the food we offer to patients is of a good quality and nutritious value and your experience will be shared with the catering team to ensure that we are providing meals to patients that are prepared well and served within a timely manner to ensure that they are delivered to the patient at their best.

The Trust has seconded a Matron to Sodexo Healthcare, to provide better communication between the nursing teams and the domestic and catering staff and to ensure improvements to the patient experience in these areas are identified including developing specific menu, including vegetarian, to ensure that choices are varied and suitable.

We take all issues surrounding patient care very seriously and would very much like to hear from you directly about this. If you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk they will be happy to discuss this with you.

The Patient Experience Team

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust