"I was next of kin for an 87 year ..."

About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

I was next of kin for an 87 year old lady who was admitted to cardiology as an emergency. The cardiology wards are clean, managed efficiently and unobtrusively. Patients are treated kindly and empathically - likewise their visitors. Information on my patient's condition & treatment was given when requested & I felt confident that the staff, from Consultant to Cleaner, were working to the same ideals. My patient recovered well and was transferred to Rehabilitation Ward 1 to continue her recovery.

What could be improved

Rehabilitation Ward 1 is an euphemism for what we used to describe as a Geriatric Ward - now known as Old Age Medicine. The ward was full and very busy, most of the patients requiring high levels of nursing care & attention. I visited 4 days & each time there were strong odours of urine & faeces. The ward was crowded with patients' equipment & walking aids & I suspect that the bays containing 6 beds were originally designed for 4. "2 visitors to a bed" notices were clearly visible around the ward yet at the week-end, many visitors clustered round beds in threes , fours, fives & in a couple of cases, sixes! -adding to the general feeling of chaos & overcrowding.

On the Saturday afternoon I witnessed a prolonged incident of near pantomime proportions. Unknown to visitors, in this overcrowding & noise, staff were attempting to create space and respect in order to remove a body.

My patient, being an active, alert & feisty lady received no rehabilitation whatsoever. During her 5 day stay in the ward, there were no visits from physiotherapy or occupational therapy. The patients' day & dining room was being used as a storeroom? for equipment & other stores. It was obvious that no-one had eaten in there for some time. There were no comfortable chairs. I was told that the entire area was not for use by patients.

Most of the staff were pleasant and approachable.

On 1 occasion I tried to get information about my patient to be met with no acknowledgement from one senior member of staff. The one member of staff worthy of note at this point was a nurse who came over & asked if he could help me. Unfortunately, he had to refer my question to the aforementioned senior member of staff & I was told , in a most insolent manner, that my patient had been told that she "wasn't coming home today". Coupled with being shouted at by another senior member of staff during the attempt to remove the body & after a lot of thought, I contacted the PAL office in the Hospital

Anything else?

Congrats to the PAL office! The issues & concerns I raised with them were dealt with sympathetically & promptly.

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Response from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Many thanks for your comments and we are glad that you received a good serive from our Patient Advice and Liaison Service. If you would like to discuss your experiences further please do contact them again. Your comments about the rehabilitation ward will be passed to the relevant senior staff.

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