"A lack of blankets: not a new problem"

About: Caterham Dene Hospital / Older people's healthcare East Surrey Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

Hello, this is not a complaint but a comment on how nothing has changed.

During the nineties I worked at the hospital as an auxillary nurse on Nutfield ward, a Care of the Elderly Ward, and we frequently had issues with having enough clean bed linen at the weekends, as the laundry service was on a 5 day service.

We used to spend ages trying to get a key from the sister who was in charge of the hospital to raid any surplus sheets and blankets that were in the laundry store.

My mother-in-law (91 years old) is currently on Chaldon ward. Last Sunday, one of the coldest of the year, the ward had no blankets, so she had to make do with only a sheet. Complaining of feeling cold (this is something particularly elderly unwell patients feel as they are unable to move around) I did ask for a blanket and was told there were none. I wrapped her in her bed jacket and dressing gown.

I can't believe this issue of bed linen at the weekends has not been addressed after more than a decade.

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Dear Pekita

I have had a look into the problem you mentioned where insufficient blankets were available to Chaldon Ward last Sunday and can confirm that first thing on Monday there were two cages of blankets available for general use over the weekend and the emergency cupboard was completely full. I personally asked the Head of Facilities to check this on Monday.

I am therefore somewhat at a loss to explain why no blanket was available and I apologise that this was a problem.



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Update posted by Pekita (a relative)

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your reply to my comment about lack of blankets on Chaldon ward. I can only assume that it was up to someone (no idea who!) to go and get more blankets from the cupboard and this is where it failed.

Bye Pekita

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