"The dedication & skills of ..."

About: Weston General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

The dedication & skills of all the doctors are absolutely outstanding. There are some problems of communication with doctors from abroad, but on the whole, they explain in great detail, if that is what the patient wants.

The hospital's facilities & medical equipment are mostly to the latest high standards, though proper air conditioning is needed on the wards.

The "bedside" televisions are superb, but you have to pay a reasonable charge to use them.

What could be improved

1. Parking at the hospital can sometimes be horrendous and in most cases is chargeable & expensive. There seems to be no facility for inpatients to drive to the hospital, park their cars and leave them for more than one day!

2. The "bedside" telephone system is horrendously expensive, especially for callers phoning in to patients.

3. The food is reasonable in quality, but I found the meals to be far too small. I twice went without meals because I was hidden behind the curtain of a neighbouring bed and FORGOTTEN.

4. Nursing staff were mostly overstretched during the day and they often "forgot" to take observations or administer drugs at the appropriate times. Some of the night-time nurses though, seem to have plenty of time to talk loudly about their holidays etc.

5. Night-time noise from around the Nursing Station was often inexcusable. As well as incessant talking, there was the frequent loud "clanking" of a to be a pedal-bin. There was a mentally deranged female patient, bedded on a mattress on the floor, who continually shouted, wailed, argued & swore at nurses & doctors for most of three nights; she should not have been in a ward with other patients.

6. The hand-hygiene of most of the DOCTORS (including consultants) was very poor, they seemed to think that they did not need to "wash" their hands (with gel) on entering/leaving wards or when going from patient to patient.

7. The male toilets/shower room nearest to my bed, permanently stank of urine and needed to be cleaned much more frequently. There was much rubbish left laying around on the floor & window sills.

Anything else?

Patients need to "keep an eye" on their treatment to ensure that nothing is missed and to make sure they get fed; I feel sorry for those patients who are unable to do so.

The government has said that mobile phones should generally be allowed in hospitals (with a few exceptions), but they were not allowed on Birnbeck General Medicine ward.

I have stayed twice in Birnbeck Ward, five days at a time and I am a regular outpatient too. My comments are based on all my experiences.

Cleanliness of the wards (particularly the floors) has improved much in recent years, but it is negated by some of the doctors' poor hygiene.

I recommend this hospital because I believe that most others are worse and because improvements are being made.

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