"Seating not suitable for purpose"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) / Emergency Department

(as a staff member),

Before I begin I would just like to say that the actual nursing and medical treatment my sister received in the Urgent Care Unit at Royal Cornwall Hospital last evening was great, however the seating was far from comfortable and really not suitable for the purpose.

My sister attended the above unit with severe abdominal pain.  The seats are in banks of 4 and extremely squeaky.  Whenever someone moved the whole bank would move and make a noise disturbing my sister each time she 'nodded' off. After only about 15 mins I could feel how uncomfortable the chairs were and could hear others moaning about the chairs.  Also being a member of staff I felt it was necessary for me to comment here about the seating which was actually the only thing I heard people complaining about on what was an extremely busy evening for the hospital with many people waiting long times to be seen.  We were in the unit for approx 6 hours and even though we moved around the department we always returned to the same awful seating.  I know they have to be easy cleanable etc but these need changing.  All staff should sit for 15 minutes or so on these chairs to experience how bad they are.  


Response from Jane Michell, Matron, Emergency Care, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear 'Cornish Cod',

Thank you for your comments regarding your experience at the Urgent Treatment Centre at RCHT. I am pleased that your sister received good medical and nursing care and treatment despite you having a long wait.

With regard to the seating, there are several issues; firstly as you correctly state, we have to ensure we are adhering to infection control principles; secondly, the waiting area that we currently have, has to accommodate a high number of patients for a very busy department. We used to have more comfortable armchairs in that area, but this meant that we were not able to fit in as many as we required which meant lots of patients were having to stand. This is clearly not acceptable and so we had to look at how we can make the waiting area accessible for more patients. There was also the issue of patients occasionally throwing chairs around the waiting room which is why we have to have them in groups of four so they are less easily thrown!

Unfortunately, I don't think there is an easy or quick solution to this problem but thank you for bringing this to my attention. I hope your sister is feeling better.

Kind Regards


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