"Most staff were friendly. Cleaning ..."

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

(as the patient),

What I liked

Most staff were friendly. Cleaning staff tried to keep the ward clean. Hand disinfectant was never short in supply.

What could be improved

The ward I was in was very hot. Fans would be good. There were no reading lights, so after dark you were left with paying to watch tv (which nobody explains how to use). Lights would be good.

Plenty of staff could not speak English and did not know how to operate blood pressure machines, not very comforting when your health is in their hands. Staff should speak English.

Extremely noisy at night, all day as well. I felt I became sleep deprived and became tearful, very out of character. I had to insist on sleeping tablets by the 3rd night as I thought I was losing my mind. There was a blow up mattress brought in one day 2 which beeping constantly, I asked if this could be stopped and was told no. A day later another nurse figured it out and turned off the beeping. Surely someone could have asked the first day how to operate the bed? I asked if the hospital had any ear plugs, they did not. Wards should be quieter.

I had to find staff late at night to switch off other patients alarms, flashing and beeping loudly, this usually took some time to find someone. Should be more trained staff.

My ward had a mentally challenged lady who walked around all day, touching personal belongings and scraping skin off her fingers onto eating trolleys, not pleasant. She was pleasant but very disturbing. Mentally challenged persons should be on a separate ward or supervised all the time.

Medication could be more regular, I was advised to have mine with food, which was over an hour away and advised just to keep it until then. Not good when you want to sleep and there was the mentally challenged lady wandering about. The ward was quite untidy and noisy, which made the experience more stressful.

Anything else?

Overall it was a truely awful experience. I felt that staff tried, some more than others, but the system is just too flawed and under-funded.

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Response from St Peter's Hospital

We are extremely sorry that you felt your experience in hospital was not a good one. The hospital trust is very committed to improving the ‘patient experience’ and the points you raise show us that there are still some very practical improvements we need to make. During hot weather some of our wards are difficult to keep cool and we have tried to bring portable air conditioning units in wherever possible. We regularly record the temperature on the wards when it is hot to try and keep track on areas that need cooling down, but clearly on this occasion we were not successful.

We know from our patient survey that many people find the wards noisy, particularly at night, and we have been trying different solutions to try and reduce noise; giving out ear-plugs, encouraging staff to wear soft shoes and so on. It is difficult as hospital wards can be very busy, even at night, and sometimes it is just impossible to keep areas quiet for long periods. That said, it’s clear we need more supplies of simple items like ear-plugs that can reduce stress levels for patients who are subject to noisy areas.

Once again, we are extremely sorry that you found your stay in hospital to be a bad experience.

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