"Given its large catchment area, had expected much..."

About: East Surrey Hospital

What could be improved

First time I've visited this hospital (accompanying a child in the Children's A&E and then later on to a ward) and this first impression hasn't been a favourable one unfortunately. Yes, we know about the general NHS challenges with understaffing, underfunding, etc, but that aside, there seems to be a lack of effective management at this hospital. There just didn't seem to be anyone in charge here today, that was my overriding thought, and this was reflected in the staff's generally negative attitude to us and to each other (with some notable exceptions).

Basic care was in short supply - what kind of place is it that won't offer a child water or food despite knowing they've had neither for over 6 hours? Notes taken in A&E weren't passed to the ward hence had to be repeated verbally. The prominent warnings on entry to the ward about the need for ALL visitors to use the hand sanitiser were ignored by staff. A nurse chatted leisurely on the phone to her boyfriend at the desk while inside, another child's verbal request for help went ignored. One set of parents were still active with their child at 10pm, including tv, while a short distance away, a parent complained to nursing staff that her young daughter desperately needed some sleep because she'd not had much since she'd arrived.

It turned out that A&E's delay in getting our child treatment for her condition (despite being admitted in a blue-lights ambulance) meant that that specific treatment proved ineffective, which in part was responsible for the overnight stay.

As we left the building, feral youths congregated at the entrance smoking, unchallenged by anyone.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from East Surrey Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment about your experience at East Surrey Hospital and we're sorry that on this occasion it didn't meet the high standards we require. Your comments will be passed to our Chief Nurse but in the meantiime please be assured that the Emergency Department at East Surrey Hospital is undergoing a wide spread refurbishment, to support significant change in service delivery. When complete, the Emergency Department will be designed to support the provision of highly skilled and efficient care for our patients, this includes a designated Paediatric Department, streaming/assessment rooms, enhanced and expanded majors and minors areas along with a refurbished Clinical Decisions Unit.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is available to listen to concerns, suggestions or queries and can help sort out problems quickly on your behalf. You can contact PALS by telephone on 01737 231958, email: pals@sash.nhs.uk, or by writing to: PALS, East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5RH.

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