"Gread nurses but very bad food & accomodation"

About: Southampton General Hospital

I ended up on ward E8 for a while after complications from surgery. During that time I got to experience some amazing care from the nursing and care staff on the ward. They were always happy to talk if they had time and this really helped to make the experience less unpleasant. Unfortunately there are some significant issues with the ward and hospital in general that made the stay more unpleasant. Food: Hospital food is meant to be bad but this was really bad. All of the meals are microwave heated so you end up with something that is either soggy or rubbery and you can't always work out what it is. Quality is rubbish and it is really unappetising - Burgerking would have been better. Menu wise, there is a little choice but it is the same every day so things get boring quite quickly. Breakfasts were also disappointing as there was only a choice of three cereals, bread, yoghurts and bananas - there were no options for toast of porridge. Despite the food performance section of the "My NHS" site saying that snacks are offered between meals and that fruit is always available, I was only offered a biscuit with a cup of tea on one occasion and the only time I saw fruit was the bananas at breakfast. As examples of how bad the food was, one other patient was considering eating in the restaurant and another was not gaining their needed weight despite eating the "high energy" options TV/Internet: What they are trying to charge for tv & internet at your bed is nothing short of trying to fleece patients for everything they can (especially when added to the ridiculous parking costs). If you do try and use the bedside unit for internet, you will give up in frustration as the on-screen keyboard is rubbish. Most other hospitals I have been to realise the importance of patient entertainment and offer free wifi for patients these days and have TV rooms where patients can congregate. Same-Sex Accommodation: Despite the hospital saying that they provide same-sex accommodation, they don't for toilet & wash facilities on E8. This is partly due to the layout of the ward but the fact that there are only two showers (one of which is almost off the ward not near any bay & broken) for 35 patients doesn't help. At one point we were down to one broken shower because the other shower room was closed for maintenance issues. Cleanliness/Maintenance: In general, the ward was find but the toilets were bad. Blood, urine & feces on the floor & toilet seat were common occurrences and the staff seemed surprised when informed but it took ages for it to be cleaned. It seems like cleanliness checks were not being done as often as required. Maintenance was bad as well. One shower room had a broken toilet seat and shower head clip the entire time I was there. The latter made it difficult for anyone stiff from surgery and/or with a cannula in the arm to use. The other shower room had a heater with rusty sharp edges at floor level right next to the shower.

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and whilst I note your positive comments regarding the staff, I am very disappointed to read of your other points. I will immediately forward your feedback to the matron responsible for the area so that she can investigate the issues you have raised and will also ask her to liaise with the catering manager regarding your comments on the food. Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback - it is invaluable and I can assure you that all the points you have raised will be reviewed and discussed with the relvant staff.

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