"I was in for five days on my first ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as the patient),

What I liked

I was in for five days on my first visit in which time i was diagnosed as having a blocked artery and had a stent fitted and was discharged. CCU was clean and smelled fresh. The nursing staff on CCU were polite and considerate. They made me feel human. The staff in casualty were also very caring and polite. i was impressed that I had been diagnosed and treated so quickly.

What could be improved

MAU was dirty and smelled bad. The toilet had the same dried blood on the floor for four days. There was the same bowl of urine (a forgotten sample( on the windowsill in the toilet for four days. The toilet often had a wet floor sign blocking the door but the corners of the floor had months worth of accumulated hair and dust. When I went in there I started wearing gloves that I took from the nurses box and wipes to clean everywhere i needed to touch.

In the ward the cleaner used the same cloth to go around each bed to dust the bed rails. potentially taking any bugs with it. He raised the bed and pulled it away from the wall to clean underneath it without speaking to the person in it or otherwise indicating what he was about to do. There were two confused old ladies in the the ward that I was in. I was worried that they may get out of bed without realising that it had been raised up high and fall. These two ladies both had very bad diaorrehoa which I imagine was passed from one to the other by the cleaner. Using a seprate wet wipe for each bed would prevent the spread of infection. On my first visit all of the nursing staff were rude and uncaring. One of the nurses was very stressed when she administered the drugs. She gave the man in the next bed to me four simvastatin instead of two, he gave her two back and she applogised. She gave me medicine by mouth which she should have injected into my stomache. Other nurses were just walking up to patients, including myself, grabbing their arm and attatching a blood pressure sleeve without even speaking to the patient. The BP equipment was taken around each patient without being cleaned between beds also potentally spreading germs.

Anything else?

I was in the MAU ward Friday Sat and Sun on Monday a lady came in and said good morning what would you like to drink for breakfast. I realised that was the first time I had been greeted and spoken to nicely since my arrival.

I was admitted again to MAU a week later, not a weekend. Different staff were on duty they were pleasant and helpfull, they were especially nice to the older people. I wondered if on my first visit it had been staffed mainly by bank staff. To improve the situation the staff could be given the same customer service training they give the staff in tesco, who used to be rude but are now polite to cusomers, The toilet was still filthy on my second visit. Supermarket and cafe toilets used to be filthy until they started doing inspections and signing to say they had been checked every hour. Now you rarely find a dirty supermarket toilet. The ward sister should also check at least once a day. When the Old ladies with bowel problems were cleaned up their soiled linnen was placed in a plastic bag.

The bag was left at the entrance to the ward emmiting the foulest smell to greet all visitors entering through the door.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Sorry for the time it has taken to respond to this comment, which was submitted last October. Due to an unforeseen glitch in the national website system, we have only just been notified of your message.

We're really sorry that we didn't get to it at the time, because we would have wanted to have your experience investigated in some detail - as it is clearly not how any clinical service should be. But we were grateful to see how well you felt cared for by our A&E and cardiology teams.

Although your experience was some months ago, we have spoken with the senior nurses who manage the Trust's assessment units - including those at the QEII. Based on their feedback, we would like to think that you would have a rather different experience if you had to attend there today - but we hope that, for all the right reasons, this is something you won't need to do!

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