"A very mixed review from my very short but 4..."

About: St Helier Hospital

Referred into hospital by local GP when he could get a blood pressure reading from me from either his electronic machine, or manual. Entered hospital via A&E, where the staff were brilliant, sing room facilities clean, and generally impressed by all aspects of the service once seen (the waiting time can be unbearable, especially when ill). I was moved to Resuscitation department as they want to closely monitor my blood pressure and oxygen levels while on an IV trying to stabilise my symptoms. The staff again explained everything that was going on and reassured me, not such a relaxing atmosphere as monitoring machines alarms going off constantly, the beds are separated by just curtains so a noisy/busy atmosphere. The staff reacted well to decrease my temperature, increase my blood pressure and identify the problem. I was then moved to A1 (Acute medical unit, AMU) which I was luckily given my own room which was great, staff were all very good in the 5 hours I was there, unfortunately at 10 o'clock at night it was sprung on me that I was to be moved again, to get my belongs and I would be off! No notice of this, first I knew of it a porter and a wheelchair turning up. I then went to C2 ward (which on the notice board just before entry to the ward announces that it is the worst performing ward in the Epsom/Sutton/St Helier group), I was put in a bay of four beds, one bed remained empty but patients were in the other two. The noise of the night staff was really bad, they only shouted whether talking to patients throughout the night or indeed talking to each other at the nurse station. The bedside televisions all powered down at 11 o'clock, however they managed to get one working opposite the nurse station which they turned up loud so they could watch from their seats. The room with the 4 beds in has fire doors onto the corridor with signs on them "Fire Door Keep Shut", yet they are and have been continually wedged open throughout many staff cycles. While it's nice during the day to have them open with people passing by at night it would benefit all patients to have them closed to reduce the noise of the phones ringing, TV, nurse station chat, spelling bee?, fan heater relay race which was taken back and forth on a few occasion apparently faulty. I needed to be monitored closely through the night (I think at least every 2 hours) and each time the staff came in wheeling the blood pressure monitor or to change IV they would not do it quietly, talked loudly in the room waking both other patients if they got the chance to sleep. It wasn't until the hand over the next morning when all staff Night & day visited each patient did the noise level reduce for an hour we had almost silence which we all took advantage of as all complained of no sleep. The staff all seemed to do things differently, most to a good standard, but on two occasions two different staff allowed air in the IV line, one of which was a good few inches of just air.

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Response from St Helier Hospital

Thank you very much for your thorough feedback. We’re concerned to hear that you are so strongly dissatisfied with some aspects of your care. We always try to use patient feedback to inform ways we can make sure we improve our services. As such, we would really appreciate it if you could get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) team on 020 8296 2508 or by email at pals@esth.nhs.uk so that they can discuss the specific aspects of your care which could have been handled differently.

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