"Friendly staff but could do with lessons in hygiene"

About: Sandwell General Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I had to go in Sandwell for small surgery recently and stayed two nights. The nurses and the doctor who did my initial assessment were very friendly and had enough time for me.

I paid attantion to the fact that during my stay I never saw a staff member wash their hands or use the alcohol handwash placed around the ward. Someone came to remove my drip in the middle of cleaning someone else's bed. She did not clean her hands inbetween. Another lady removed a bloody bandage of a patient next to me and then went on to remove my drip needle using the same gloves. Before the operation I was asked to wash myself with MRSA preventing soap but because I was seen about three hours after my arrival they ran out of time and told me it's not important and I should go straight into the operation. On the bed I sat for my initial assessment, there was someone else's blood and someone's lunch was on the table next to me. Some more blood that looked quite old was on a chair leg in the messy room.

After waking up after my (very minor) operation no-one came to talk to me to tell me what had happenned. After the pre-op consultation I never saw a doctor. At some point later on a very friendly nurse saw me and asked me how I was.

So all and all it was a mixed experience. The nurse who looked after me during the day and the doctor were great but the ladies who seemed like temporary staff were not brilliant. The ward was ok but hygiene could do with improvements. And there was a lack of showers and too few toilets in the ward.

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