"Support staff (serving tea etc) ..."

About: Royal Preston Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Support staff (serving tea etc) were good and pleasant as were the occupational and physiotherapy staff. Doctors on the ward were good.

What could be improved

My husband was on ward 16. Following surgery he contracted a vomiting/diarrohea bug which meant he was in hospital 3 days longer than his original discharge date. When it became apparent he was ill he was seen almost immediately for tests (blood/stool) by the relevant nurse but after that had to wait more than 24 hours to be moved into isolation, in a single room with its own toilet facilities. During this time I had to help him to the nearest toilet, carrying his saline drip for him as he was on crutches following a hip operation - in one hour's visit alone I accompanied him more than 6 times. Not only was this painful, humiliating and difficult for him as he was on crutches and in a brace, it meant that he was passing numerous patients and visitors and using the communal toilet facilites to go to toilet when he had severe diarrohea. One other patient was loudly referring to him as 'typhoid mary' and despite my requests for help, a move or an update he was not moved until 1 am the following morning when the room was ready for him - this despite the fact that I saw the previous resident being moved by ambulancemen to her new location at 4.30 in the afternoon. This seems to me to be a basic break down in hygiene - no wonder illness/vomiting is widespread on the Preston wards if infectious patients are not moved immediately. The reason I was given was that the room needed to be vacated and deep cleaned but why did it still take 8 and a half hours after the previous patient had left for my husband to be moved? I would recommend that Preston hospital reviews its management plan for infectious cases to ensure prompt action is taken to remove the risk to other patients and to help the infectious patient who needs quick access to toilet facilities. It honestly felt like we were in a third world country as i helped him struggle to the toilet and I felt so sorry for him.

Anything else?

There seemed to be a lack of communication and coordination between bay nurses - when I queried when the isolation room would be available I was told by a giggling staff nurse that she really couldn't say as it was the responsibility of another nurse to deal with that room as it was in a different bay/area (although on the same ward). As a result patient needs seemed to come well down the list of priorities.

Story from NHS Choices

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