"Good staff on all levels, but more info needed"

About: Lincoln County Hospital

What I liked

I thought the level of service and care was good. The staff were all helpful and friendly, the ward was very clean and the food, with a couple of exceptions, was fine. I had a stay of two and a half weeks and both myself and my visitors were always treated well.

The food was on a generally good standard and is nothing like the food I recall from my last stay in hospital about 15 years ago. OK, it's not Michlin star, but it is mass catering and it is more than adequeate, with a good selection. I must say the ham was better than that served in most cafe' and restaurants and the salad was always fresh and tasty. I also got used to having a hot pudding everyday too!

In my opinion LCH has a lot of dedicated, competant and hardworking staff and management should be supporting them. However, I get the feeling that staff are not being supported and that morale is probably quite low. this is a great shame

What could be improved

Staffing levels were at times dangerously low. There were occasions when I had to wait a substantial time for pain relieving meds. These times usually involved very junior nurses who had only been in post for a matter of weeks. I think the longest I waited was three and a half hours because the meds had to be written up again as they had run out during the day.On another occasion there was a similar scenario, but this time I had asked the nurse to make sure it didn't run out. Needless to say, it didn't get written up. After that I bypassed the junior staff and went to the one's with more experience. I believe these situations arose because the junior staff did not have ample supervision, due to the chronic shortage of more experienced nurses. The staff on the ward all came across as dedicated and caring. I'm sure they must feel like they spend there working life wading through treacle. They are putting in a superhuman effort and are seriously underfunded and understaffed.

My only other negative is that there wasn't much information given to me. the only information I received was verbal and my memory is not the best it could be and I would have liked some written information.

Anything else?

On the whole my experience of LCH has been positive and that is down to the dedication of it's grass roots staff.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Lincoln County Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback; it is very valuable to us and is passed onto the teams and services concerned. I would like to assure you that we are aware of the challenges in relation to staffing and whilst we have a clear escalation plan if any wards are short of staff through sickness for example, we are also currently undertaking an in-depth review of staffing across the Trust. Thank you again.

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Response from Jennie Negus, Deputy Director of Patient Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Jennie Negus

Hello and my apologies for not responding to you sooner - I try to reply quickly but I don’t know how I missed the fact I hadn’t go back to you.

Firstly thank you for leaving your feedback; it is much appreciated. I discussed your story with our Director of Nursing as I knew she would be interested in your comments about staffing levels.

Whilst our staffing levels are within national safe limits we do struggle from time to time when staff are off sick of if we need to open additional beds because of pressures; however we have a clear process for escalating if levels are low on any ward.

That said we are currently undertaking a review of nurse staffing across the Trust - led by our Director of Nursing which is why I wanted her to see your story.

Please be assured that we do listen to patient feedback; it is extremely valuable to us. Thank you again for taking the time to tell us about your experience.

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