" No Ventilation in toilets/shower rooms"

About: Western General Hospital / Medical Oncology

(as a relative),

My mum has been in Edinburgh Western General for over a week now, she is a cancer patient half way through chemotherapy, but re-hospitalised due to an infection related her mastectomy op. She is in a room in Ward 2 (which are all small rooms). My mum has been quite vocal about the nauseating smells coming from the toilet which is approx 6 feet away from 4 of the beds and 15 feet away from the other 4 beds. I'm an electrician and so I decided to test if the small 4" vent port was working properly by doing a simple suction test (using a Kleenex) which proved there was no suction or air flow at all.

It seems to me quite undignified for the patients, many of whom are on potent medications which will make toileting a delicate matter, to be forced to use a communal toilet knowing that the smell will permeate the whole ward room outside. Having no ventilation would also seem to be a health risk to some very immunocompromised patients (airborne microbes anyone? ) as the shower and WC are one and the same cubicle and many patients have wounds from recent surgery.

One of the more concerned doctors has said to my mum that the problem affects all of the toilets in the ward, not just the one room, as there is a part broken in the Plant room. So presumably all toilet ducting is connected to a common Air Processing Unit there. Apparently an answer cannot be given as to how long the part will take to arrive, just that it could take "quite a while"... I know from my own line of work that there are very few parts these days which can't be overnighted, or at least an delivery ETA provided! ?

Someone really needs to take the bull by the horns and get NHS Estates to get their act together, either that or move the patients to a decent ward, for the sake of patient dignity, comfort and disease prevention.

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Response from Susan Brimelow, Chief Inspector, Healthcare Environment Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

I have read and noted nhsalert (as relative) concerns.

Thank you for raising this matter.

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Response from Customer Relations and Feedback Team, NHS Lothian

Thank you for your feedback. I believe you have already made a complaint to the Customer Relations and Feedback Team of NHS Lothian and a response will be sent to you shortly.

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