"Good, after a very poor start"

About: Chesterfield Royal Hospital

What I liked

The staff on Elmton ward were all very friendly, especially the tea trolley ladies who provided a welcome interruption to the monotony of the ward. Elmton ward was always very clean and quiet.

I remain amazed at how the nurses on the ward were able to put me at ease during difficult times, im sure its a quality that is in-built and cant be trained for!

What could be improved

I was sent to EMU by my GP in considerable pain from Diverticulitis. When I arrived, I gave reception my referral letter and was asked to wait in a waiting room.

The room was small, cramped, dirty, crowded and alltogether unpleasant. I was abandoned here for 5 hours. It was only when I went to tell them that I was leaving that a doctor spoke to me. I complained that nobody had even checked whether I was still alive, examined me, or asked a single question about me. His response was 'well, do you want me to examine you in the corridor?' I commented that I had been unable to have anything to drink , response to that was 'you cant since you are pre-surgery' News to me! Oddly enough, I was brought a cup of tea shortly after. When I was finally taken to a bed and examined, the only comment was 'well I don't think your peritonitic'

I was given some pain relief after about 6 hours and finally managed to get some sleep. about 1:30 in the morning, I was woken up to be moved to Elmton ward where the level of care improved somewhat.

During my stay, the need for a bladder scanner arose on 2 occasions. This equipment had to be borrowed from another ward which resulted in a delay the first time and a delay with me in considerable pain the second time. I was told that they were raising money to be able to buy one. I couldn't believe that the hospital couldn't fund a few thousand pound for equipment that is regularly needed.

Some form of mechanical ventilation on Elmton ward would be good. Owing to the nature of the patients conditions the ward wasnt exactly fragrant.

Finally, my bed broke and for the last 24 hours of my stay was totally flat, it wasnt repaired during that time.

Anything else?

The food on offer was fairly poor, I had to consult the menu to identify it on most occasions.

The tea trolley could be on later, or perhaps patients asked if they need a hot drink.

There isnt anywhere to place belongings whilst using the shower to keep them dry.

It is clear that EMU is lacking in bed space, and is in serious need of refurbishment.

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Response from Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent experiences at our hospital. It's clear you had a much more positive stay on Elmton Ward and your comments about the staff and how they cared for your are very kind. Your stay on EMU however appears to have been rather less satisfactory and I was really sorry to read some of your comments. It's disappointing that you were not offered a drink, nor that you were told what was happening in relation to your care. I was also surprised to learn that you were transferred during the early hours. I am not sure why equipment had to be borrowed; and leaving you on a broken bed is obviously not acceptable. I will share your note with the directorate's management team and you are welcome to contact our Advice Centre (01246 512640) if you would like to make a formal complaint about your treatment and care. They would be happy to explain the process. On a more positive note, I am sure you will be delighted to learn that plans to refurbish the Emergency Management Unit and the Clinical Decisions Unit have been drawn up and will be undertaken in the very near future. We are also working with Sodexo, our catering contractor to improve meal choice and quality - and have recently involved staff, our governors and patients in a taste testing exercise - giving them the chance to try out some of our new menu ideas. I hope that gives you some assurance that we are taking steps to improve mealtimes and this very busy hospital service, which takes up to 30,000 emergency admissions every year. I hope you are now well on the way to recovery after your recent illness. With best wishes Sarah Turner-Saint, head of communications

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