"Typical NHS care..."

About: Southmead Hospital

What I liked

My consultant is exceptionally experienced and I have a huge amount of trust in the care he provides.

What could be improved

This hospital site is meant to be a "Smoke Free Zone", what a joke!! Every time I visit the hospital I have seen people smoking directly outside the hospital departments I was attending. Not nice for a pregnant woman to have to walk through a group of (also mainly pregnant) smokers. Why put signs up and not enforce them? They would be better off having a couple of designated smoking areas where those who want to can go and everyone else can avoid them.

Parking is a rip off - only needed a blood test today so was in for a maximum of 20 mins, yet have to pay for 2hrs parking at a cost of £2.

I find it particularly rude when members of staff deliberately avoid making eye contact as they obviously can't be bothered to help you! Tried asking for directions to another department today and at least 3 people ignored me!

Anything else?

Can we not have at least one hospital in Bristol which caters for the middle class patient? I don't want to mix with people who think it's ok to drink / smoke whilst pregnant, I don't want to sleep on a ward with people who have social workers and massive problems, I don't want the woman in the next bed popping out for a fag and breathing her smoky breath out over my baby or someone ignoring their crying baby whilst they shout abuse to their partner down the 'phone... At a time which should be so special, when you are already feeling vulnerable / hormonal and have a newborn baby to look after, surely more thought could be given to provide a service which is memorable for the right reasons!

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear PN1980 – I am pleased that you are very satisfied with the care provided by your consultant.

I am sorry that the birth of your baby, which is a special time for any new or growing family, was not the experience you wished for. I acknowledge patients smoking on site has been a constant problem, and trying to enforce the non-smoking policy has been a challenge for the Trust. However I can confirm a new initiative has been launched to try and improve compliance and to educate and encourage patients give up the practice. I have passed on your comments to the Women and Children’s Health Department.

I apologise you feel the parking charges are too expensive. We constantly review the charges, time limits and payment methods and have implemented the options preferred from seeking visitor and patient feedback. However I will pass on your views to the department concerned.

I also apologise that you had difficulty in locating the correct department, the hospital site is subject to a number of department relocations and access changes due to the construction work underway at present. However I apologise staff did not help you to find the correct department. All staff are aware they have a duty to assist visitors and patients. It is possible that the people who avoided you were contactors working on the new hospital and so they may not have been able to assist.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your feedback.

Kind Regards – Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints Team Manager

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