"What a nightmare!"

About: Southmead Hospital

I took my dad in for an operation at your hospital last week. He had to be in at 7am and We had to wait 4 hours for him to be taken down to theatre. He was sat with my mum in a small dingy room for 3 hours. It was stuffy and there were no windows! When asked if he could go back into the waiting room a member of staff suggested going into the day room down the corridor which was for males only so he would have been sat on his own. Parking was horrendous. 4 disabled spaces outside the main enterance! Both of my parents are disabled and can't walk very far. The parking attendants were very unhelpful and very rude. I was told i couldn't park behind another car (still allowing enough room for them to get out), so i had to wait for a space. Then when i had come out from picking my dad up there was a car parked right behind my car to the point of where i couldn't even open my boot. I questioned why the parking people had let them park there but wouldn't let me park there and they said they didn't see the car. How can you miss a car!!? This place is getting worse and worse. I had hardly any room infront of me so they guided me onto the public footpath to get my car out of the ridiculous space. I am disgusted with how i was treated here. There is one rule for one person and another rule for someone else. The parking attendant said they've been told to not issue car's with tickets, whats the point in employing these people?!! When i called to see how my dad was, i was passed from pillar to post to about 6 different people, and having been cut off 4 times before i got someone on the phone who told me he was still in the waiting room, despite my mum telling them she watched him walk down to theatre! it took over 20 minutes and alot of arguing and alot of people telling me so much rubbish before i found out if my dad was ok!

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Jess – Thank you for posting your comments about your father’s surgery. I am grateful for you sharing the details of your joint experiences and wish to apologise you found these to be so poor. Regrettably, the demand for acute beds across Bristol and the South Gloucestershire area is severe due to an identified lack of community beds, which delays patient discharges. This has meant that it has been necessary to use some patient accommodation in a way that was unintended to ensure surgical procedure can still proceed and to maximise the use of the Theatres. I apologise that this meant your fathers room was not of the standard we would wish. Patients are admitted in 3 phased intakes during the day to try and limit their wait for surgery, but it is not possible in advance to be precise about the time of individual patients’ procedures, due to differing complexities, but I apologise if staff did not keep you adequately informed during your fathers wait. The layout at the main entrance at the moment is not how it is planned to be in the long term. We have completed Phase 1 of the Brunel building and when Phase 2 is finished, in the summer of 2015, then a new patient and visitor multi-storey car park will be built enabling patients and visitors to enter the Brunel building directly from the car park and arrive next door to the main reception desk. This will also simplify the journey from the main entrance to the Southmead site to the car park. It should also take away the stress of having to find a place to park, although there has already been increased capacity since a further two floors of the existing multi-storey car park have been released for use by the public. When the phase 2 building is complete, the public will generally enter the building (from the new multi-storey car park which will be created), or from the existing access. This will significantly reduce the flow of pedestrian traffic in front of the building and create many more disabled parking spaces, as well as improving the drop-off facilities. I do hope you see an improvement in parking and access when the building programme is complete in summer 2016 and hope you can bear with us until then. I am also sorry that you have had issues contacting the hospital. Staff in the recovery room are always busy, and their immediate focus is on the patients, but it is not acceptable that you could not be clearly informed about your father’s condition. Your comments have been shared with the staff involved. Kind regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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