"Confusing and dirty."

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

What I liked

I was visiting my mother in law on ward 9 who had been admitted through A and E the previous night. The nurse we spoke to was helpful and tried to find out as much as she could about my mother in law. she answered our questions as well as she was able.

What could be improved

I was informed by her carers that my mother in law had ben admitted to hospital and why. When I tracked my mother in law down to A and E they had no idea why she had been admitted, or that she was extremely deaf and registered blind,they had to obtain all this information from me. Some communication problems here I think. I would have expected the ambulance driver to have communicated with the carer who sat with until the ambulance arrived, and for that information to be passed on to staff at A and E.

Anything else?

After visiting my mother in law on sunday afternoon on ward 9 we left by the exit to A and E. Not the way we came in but this hospital is extremely badly signposted if one has never visited it before!

On the way out of A and E , knowing we had a long drive home we, my husband and myself decide to use the public lavatories beside the exit.

The ladies was foul, in one cubicle the lavatory remained unflushed with urine on the seat and floor and bits of tissue all over the place, evidence pointed to it having been like this for some time. The other cubicle was dirty with no hook on the back of the door, consequently I put my coat on and sat on the lavatory clutching my bag on my lap, no way was I putting any of my belongings on that floor. The sinks , including the taps were dirty , there was tissue all over the place here as well, and rubbish including old pop bottles.

As I came out of the ladies I met my husband who was incredulous at the state of the gents, one of the urinals had a broken u bend and as a consequence there was a pool of urine on the floor, which people were walking in and then trailing across the hospital floors. This had evidently been going on for days if not weeks as there were urine stains around the the u bend on the floor and walls, this does not occur overnight. This is the fault of the ubend rather than misuse by those using these facilities. This aside the gents generally were as dirty as the ladies. Whilst I am aware some of these problems are down to the people who use these facilties, if a motorway service station can clean the loos once a hour I fail to see why a hospital has this as such a low priority, especially as the consequences could be so much more serious. not much point in having hand washing facilities all over the hospital if one leaves the loos feeling contaminated and trailing germs in ones wake. Thank goodness we were going home rather than back up to the ward.

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Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to University Hospital North Durham, to visit your mother-in-law.

Whilst I am pleased to note you are happy with the nurse on Ward 9, I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with communication from the Accident and Emergency Department. With regard to the condition of the toilets, I have asked that these are looked at as a matter of urgency and would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is complaints@cddft.nhs.uk

Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address: -

Patient Experience Team

Darlington Memorial Hospital

Hollyhurst Road


County Durham


If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website.

The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients.

Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices.

Patient Experience Team

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 0800 7835774

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful