"Visitor Experience"

About: Southmead Hospital

I visited a relative in Southmead Hospital, who was post-0p. I had travelled some distance and didn't find you easily however, once there, the parking was a nightmare. I eventually found the multi storey which, though easy to find a space, was a long walk from the hospital and not one sign to say how to get back to it! After wandering aimlessly for a while someone directed me back round the roadway to the main entrance, which again was not signed and not the most obvious door to enter by. My first impression of the hospital was of how much space has been wasted with huge corridors/entrances, not one clock anywhere (to keep an eye on parking times) and when I got to the ward, there was nothing for the patients to do, no radio, nothing to read (even if they weren't blind) My impression was that alot of (taxpayers) money has been spent on unnecessary items when it should have been spent on treatments for clinically ill patients. The ward my relative was on ,was understaffed on the evening of Weds 29 April and how that nurse coped that night must have been a nightmare. It left me feeling the patients were at risk.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous – thank you for taking the time and trouble to post the details of your experience at Southmead Hospital. I was very sorry to learn of the trouble you had in locating the Hospital and of the difficulty you experienced while trying to park close to the main building. I also regret that the signs advising of the transport links to the main hospital building or of the route (marked by yellow dots on the pavements) were not clear. 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 2016, 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. Initially it was anticipated that patient entertainment via access to the internet from personal mobile devices would meet the needs of most patients. However, North Bristol Trust has recognised from feedback such as yours that many patients do not have this access, and so TV’s and radios are being made available in quiet rooms on all wards (or gates as they are now called). A recent audit of nursing requirements has been undertaken and in response to this many more nurses are being recruited to specific gates. Where short term and unexpected absences occur, nursing staff can be called in from other gates or from the Trust’s own bank of reserves. Safe levels of staffing are always a priority for the Clinical Site Team and this each Trust makes a daily report to the Dept. of Health, and displays staffing levels on each gate. I hope I have reassured you that if it was unsafe to operate any ward/gate appropriate action would be taken or the ward would be closed. I am sorry we have not met your expectations in relation to the design of the building but can report that we do have lots of compliments about the design. I do hope you see an improvement in parking in proximity to the hospital and access when the building programme is complete in summer 2016 and hope you can bear with us until then. Kind regards - Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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