About: Victoria Infirmary (Northwich)

Although very happy with the care from doctors, nurses and reception staff whenever we have the need to visit this hospital we really feel the need to comment on this occasion.

We have seen this before, and not just here - too many nurses chatting loudly for all patients to hear - as if the patients are not there.

There were 3 then 2 consultants on duty during the hour we were there, and 5, five, nurses at the nurses desk, loudly discussing what they had all eaten for breakfast, watched on TV, worked how many hours that week, and comparing notes on a particular 1/4 of an hour extra they had worked.

They did not seem to realise or care that we patients, a few feet away, could hear all of this, just outside the consulting rooms as well, leaning on the walls, wherein doctors were trying to care for patients.

The consultants must surely feel unhappy that they are trying to do their job while all this irrelevant chatting goes on in the corridor outside.

Little did anynif these nurses seem to realise that, ironically, they were discussing the hours they work - but they weren't actually working!

They were chatting for the whole hour we were there, opening the door to take us into see the doctor, opening the door while the doctor left the room, carrying on chatting as if they were not at work, let alone a hospital!

That could not happen in the private sector.

Patients are customers and should be treated as such.

Sadly we had to complain about this 15 years ago, chatting and laughing around the nurses station while Inpatients needed help and support. This time it is in an out patients situation.

Why are so many trained nurses allowed to 'stand around' chatting, and loudly, not even huddled quietly in a room? Which would be as bad obviously. It was the complete astonshment that they continued to chat, it was not just a quick conversation.

If this has become the culture it needs halting. It is not professional, it is not sustainable to tell the public there is a shortage of nurses when this sort of thing is witnessed. Why were so many trained nurses stood around chatting, while one or two others, others, in the same small section were working? Very disappointing, very annoying.

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Response from Victoria Infirmary (Northwich)

Please accept my apologies that your experience at Northwich Victoria Infirmary Outpatients department was not a positive one with regards to staff members on duty that day. This is not a situation that you should have experienced as staff are expected to maintain professionalism and consider that they are in a public environment whilst conducting themselves at work. Thank you for raising this concern to my attention. Please be assured that we will monitor this situation going forwards. Please would you contact our customer service department if you would like a more detailed response to your concerns or if you would like to discuss your experience with us directly. Their contact number is 01270 612410.

Many thanks

Jane Tordoff, Matron

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