"My 2 year old daughter was admitted ..."

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

My 2 year old daughter was admitted in the evening to F64 with gastroenteritis and was suffering badly with vomiting and diarrhoea. The staff were very friendly, caring and helpful offering both my daughter and myself and my partner everything we needed. The treatment and care my daughter received was second to none by both the night and day shift staff. We were kept fully informed as to what was happening and the progress on my daughters condition with our own thoughts and feelings taken into account and consideration. Cleanliness was more than satisfactory with one of the nurses reminding myself and my partner that we shouldn't forget to wash our hands in order to keep cross contamination. When it came to being able to go home we were given options as to whether we were happy to take my daughter home and when we decided to do that were advised to go straight back to A&E should certain symptoms re-occur. All round great care and service. Thanks from all of us

What could be improved

The next night our 10 month old son was admitted to F65 with the same condition as our 2 year old daughter. The same cannot be said of the service and care my partner received with my son than that of the night before on F64. As i had to stay at home with our still poorly daughter my partner was alone at the hospital with our son who was vomiting regularly and suffering bad diarrhoea. My partner was shocked and upset at the staff attitude and lack of care in particular during one instance where my son vomited and had diarrhoea both over himself my partner and the floor. When she approached a nurse for assistance she was told to wait a minute and after waiting several minutes while the nurse sat at the computer approached a passing nurse with more urgency with he request for help. The original nurse who was asked for help then abruptly assisted by wiping the floor which was covered in vomit and diarrhoea with a couple of paper towels. When my partner asked if the floor was going to be disinfected she was told somebody would be round later. In the meantime numerous people walked over the area until finally some 6 hours later the floor was disinfected after more requests from my partner and her concern for spreading the germs to other areas of the hospital and other patients. Soiled cot sheets were left unchanged despite being seen and when my partner asked where she could change our son, the nurse threw a changing mat which was lying on the floor onto the cot where he was supposed to sleep. The staff attitude wasn't friendly or caring and the level of hygiene or concern for hygiene was very low. When it was time to leave my partner was glad to be leaving.

Anything else?

I understand the problems faced by nurses in the hospital and that they have a very difficult job to do under normally very stressful conditions but i find it hard to comprehend the very different level of service experienced in 2 areas of the same department of the same hospital over 2 consecutive nights. One set of staff were caring, attentive and helpful, with exceptional hygiene standards whereas the other set of staff were the complete opposite. I don't like complaining and implying that some people aren't doing a good job but the hygiene issue has forced me to write this as when you visit the hospital you see posters about washing your hands and adverts on TV about it but not cleaning a floor for 6 hours of bacteria ridden vomit and excrement with the risk of it being transferred to other parts of the hospital on peoples footwear to me completely erases the point of having hand hygiene. This coupled with the hypocrisy of my partner not being allowed to take my soon out of his room to visit the playroom in case he infects other patients. Hygiene needs to be consistent.

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Response from Sunderland Royal Hospital

Thank you for your comments about the treatment which you received from the Paediatric wards. It is our aim to treat all patients and their parents in a clean, comfortable environment and with respect at all times. Your comments have been passed to the Paediatric Matron and Directorate Manager who are seeking to make improvements in light of these.

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