"My experience on B1 at Rotherham hospital"

About: Rotherham Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Another ambulance, A&E a bit of a blur. It’s early afternoon when I arrive. I remember my clothes being cut off. I do remember being given a bedpan and it having spilled, then being left with a soaking sheet for hours. I’d probably have called someone if I’d been left with a buzzer. I was cold.

I do remember getting some pain relief, but only paracetamol. At tea time, I recall a doctor suggesting I probably needed something to eat. Yes, I probably did!

There was a lot of waiting. I definitely ask for some more pain relief, then a decision was made, eventually, to admit me. Some more waiting but before any painkillers come I am wheeled away to B1 (admissions ward) in the dead of night.

All is calm on B1. I ask again for some pain relief. But am not allowed until a doctor’s assessed me. I vaguely remember being given a hospital leaflet, which I don’t bother to read just then.

At around 3am, a doctor comes. After he’s finished with me he has a lengthy conversation, at normal volume, about Lahore. Indignant, I make a note on my phone that it’s 03.13, (though to be fair, it’s usually the porters rather the doctors who make a racket on B1). Then some pain relief comes! At some point in the proceedings my over-bed table’s moved out of the way. My water remains out of reach. I’d probably call the nurse if I’d been left with a buzzer.

I sleep.

At perhaps 6 am the nurse does my obs. Then I’m brought a coffee! Not only v grateful, I am astonished: this is the only early morning hot drink I’ve EVER been offered in Rotherham Hospital (despite the Trust’s repeated assurances that it wishes to meet my cultural needs). Apart from a few sips, this is my first drink for 18+ hours. Plus - double plus good – I can reach my water! I finish the jug before breakfast.

The morning shift arrives, lots of bustle, some friendly hand-over chat and a bit of gossiping.

Someone comes round & wipes the over-bed tables. I note she completely ignores the sides & undersides (those surfaces that everyone grasps when moving the tables). After she’s gone I spot the single dried splash on the raised lip.

A bit of a lull.

Someone comes round and gives us hand wipes, ‘ready for breakfast’. I wipe my face too. ‘Oh we’ll be doing washes soon’ or words to that effect.

Someone else comes round and wipes the over-bed tables. She too misses the coffee splash and all those other hand-contact surfaces.

I ask for a bedpan. Staff are attentive & prompt. A nurse comes, begloved, and afterwards lets me wipe myself clean. No gloves for me, of course. Or wipes.

`600ml! ’ it’s announced to the whole ward. ‘That lady in the corner’s just done 600ml! ’ I am mortified.

Then it’s breakfast time. Perhaps there’s some anti-bac gel on the bedside table? I wouldn’t know because of course with those nifty electric beds, a patient can’t possibly reach his or her bedside furniture. (Perhaps that’s where that leaflet went to? ) A good job I’ve opted for cereal & get a spoon.

The patient opposite is quite poorly, and she’s given a bed bath. From behind the curtains the staff sound kind.

I sleep again, some more obs, some more sleep; then lunch. No hand wipes this time. The food’s disgusting.

I manage to get discharged in the middle of the afternoon. I’m looking forward to getting home and washing my hands, never mind my face or the rest of me from that accident yesterday. On my way out, I notice that sign overhead asking visitors to be quiet.

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Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Rain910, thank you for your posting on the Patient Opinion web site. We are grateful to you for taking the time to feedback your experience and are concerned to learn about the difficulties you have experienced.

To enable us to look into this further, is it possible for you to contact our Patient Services Department direct on 01709 424461, who have been notified of your posting.

With best wishes,


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Update posted by Rain910 (the patient)

Well thanks for acknowledging that there are some issues that need to be addressed. It's a pity that some of them are the same as were raised by me in August 2011.

And I do have reservations about the effectiveness of your Patient Services. Your filthy over-bed tables and the poor hand hygiene OF PATIENTS were detailed, among other issues, in a formal complaint also in 2011. Rotherham Hospital is full of aspirational posters about its Core Values and 'As Nurses we will ' etc. , etc.. The Trust might do well to spend less time talking the talk and do more walking the walk.

Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Rain910,

I’m sorry that you don’t wish to contact us directly. Our Patient Services department co-ordinate the investigation of complaints and the responsibility of remediating any evidence that standards have not been upheld lies with the relevant team where the lapse occurred. In the absence of further detail (dates help us to identify specific staff involved), we have ensured that your feedback has been shared with the Matrons for A&E and B1 who have been required to do further spot audits regarding access to buzzers, pain relief, provision of wipes post use of bedpans (as well as pre every meal time) and to remind all their staff regarding the need for aural privacy. That you experienced breaches in such essential care is unacceptable and we apologise unreservedly for this. With regards to the cleaning of the bedside tables you are correct that the need to consider the edges/lip has been highlighted before (though not in relation to B1) and this matter has been addressed with our Domestic Services Manager. We do conduct monthly unannounced inspections of our wards with regard to essential aspects of care and will continue to praise, challenge and remediate as necessary to ensure all our patients received a consistently high standard of care.

With best wishes


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