"Noisy wards and smoky rooms"

About: Victoria Infirmary / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

Was admitted overnight to Ward A from A&E for observations with breathing problems and while well treated there were a number of areas that made my stay less than comfortable.

While the ward is nice and composed of private rooms with TVs which was a nice touch, there was a lot of loud dance type music coming from the corridor, I couldn't tell from where though and assumed it must have been a patient's TV. This was at 8pm, I was so exhausted from my earlier I tried to go to sleep at 9pm, but the music carried on loudly until 1am - I was beginning to think there must have been some staff disco nearby.

The music was turned down and only then at 4am, when the music was still audible and I needed to use the toilets, did I realise that the music wasn't coming from a patient but the nurses station!

My second comment relates to the smoking that still prevails outside the main entrance to the Victoria - my room was near that entrance and as a result the smell of cigarettes would regularly enter my room through the window. I realise this is a big effort to manage and convince smokers to smoke outside hospital grounds but the placement of a bin with an ashtray on the surface at the entrance must give a signal that this is a place where you can smoke.

After an admission where my breathing was out of control and with smoke as a known irritant, it really does need greater thought into making sure that HB policies are properly implemented.

Together instead of having a restful sleep to recover, both of these incidents led to a disturbed night with only perhaps 3 hours sleep.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear zigzague,

Thank you very much for getting in touch with your very detailed feedback about your recent stay in the Victoria Infirmary. While I am glad that the ward layout and the treatment you received were very good, you have highlighted two specific issues that should be addressed.

Noise on hospital wards at night, as well as smoking in hospital grounds, are two areas which have had a lot of attention and work put into, in order to minimise the discomfort caused by these to patients. However, as you have demonstrated, there is still room for further work in these areas. I have passed your comments on to the General Manager for the ward in which you were looked after, as well as the Facilities Manager for this site for information specifically about the issues you identified around smoking.

I will come back to you with more information as soon as possible.

Best Wishes,


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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Can I please take this opportunity to apologise for the discomfort that you experienced whist being an in-patient within Victoria Infirmary, Ward A, as a consequence of cigarette smoke entering the building from outside. I agree that this must have been an unpleasant experience which detracted from your time within the ward. I can confirm that NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde operate a No Smoking Policy across its sites however on this occasion it sounds as though this policy was being disregarded, despite clear external no smoking signs that are highly visible to everyone. This issue will be reviewed in more detail by Facilities Management in an effort to prevent people from smoking within the grounds, which should be smoke free at all times. Can I please suggest that you raise any future issues with ward staff if you require further care as an in-patient, to avoid any discomfort.

Yours Sincerely,

William Hunter,

General Manager, Facilities South

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Following your recent posting, I would like to update you that I have spoken to the Senior Charge Nurse in Ward A. She has confirmed that there is a radio in the ward and staff are reminded this should be put off at 10pm. I have asked her to reiterate about the importance of patient rest and staff need to consider the volume of the radio to ensure patients' comfort.

The Senior Charge Nurse apologises on behalf of the ward if this was not the case at the time of your stay in Ward A.

Kind Regards,

Linda Robertson,

Lead Nurse, Emergency Care and Medical Services

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