"Maybe hospitals are too big now"

About: University Hospital Aintree / Palliative medicine

(as the patient),

My concern is that hospitals have become far too big and impersonal.

Whilst some of them are indeed filled with 'state of the art' equipment, the very fact of their size allows a larger number of people to be in the same place complete with various viruses and bacteria - surely that increases the risk of cross infection? Large hospitals are also more difficult to keep scrupulously clean.

When we had smaller hospitals dotted around the districts, naturally there weren't so many people contained in them or visiting them so this would keep cross infection to a minimum. It also made them easier to manage and maintain on all levels, including hygiene.

I've also been in large hospitals where relatives were spending their last days in mixed sex wards, surrounded by bedside TVs, bleeping monitors and computers, yet the broken sink beside their bed remained unrepaired and leaking huges puddles over the floor at the bedside. We asked several times for something to be done about the puddle on the floor because we actually had to sit with our feet in it while our mother was dying.

A nurse arrived a long time later and threw some hospital bedding on the floor to soak up the water. Meanwhile, the computers continued to bleep and the nurses continued to be busy.

The NHS has a lot going for it, but computers aren't what heal people. Cleanliness, hygiene, promptness of treatment, genuine care and consideration for the individual goes a long way towards the healing process.

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Response from Stacy Smith, PALS Officer, NHS Knowsley

Thank you for your comments which I have forwarded to the PALS Team at University Hospital Aintree.

Please do not hesitate to contact the PALS team at the above hospital on 0151 529 3287 if you would like to discuss any aspect of the service with them.

Kind regards

Stacy Smith

PALS Officer

NHS Knowsley

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