About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

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My husband has been in this hospital 3 times this year and had to stay for at least a week each time. I found the general cleanliness of all areas lacking.

On all 3 visits the A&E cubicle had opened wrappers and left overs from previous patients.

On all 3 occasions my husband was admitted from A&E and on each occasion he was sent wherever a bed was available. He was shipped around St Peters moving wards, but all of his visits ended up in the MSSU.

The MSSU was by far the worst experience, there were not enough members of staff to care for the patients needs. I watched patients ring their buzzer and wait 40 minutes before someone came to attend to them. The medication and painkillers were regularly late as the staff struggled to keep on top of the shear number of patients and their needs. There was also an obvious lack of communication between doctors, nurses and the patients as basic information was not being passed.

My husband asked for pain killers one night and was told he was not due any as he had paracetamol (he was prescribed oral morph at the time).

On almost every occasion a different doctor would be addressing my husband and each had their own (differing) views and opinions on what they should or shouldn't do. This contradicting behaviour was very unsettling to watch and even more so for my husband who is extremely needle phobic and has panic attacks (which only started after the first incident).

Also due to the lack of beds the day my husband was discharged he was sent to the discharge lounge where he had to wait over 6 hours before he could receive his prescription and leave only to find that two vital items had not been prescribed correctly by the doctor and were missing.

One of which was his painkiller, we called the MSSU several times to ask if his prescription was ready for collection. In the end I had to go to the hospital and demand his medication.

I am thoroughly disappointed with the entire experience and feel sorry for all those who are unable to speak for themselves.

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Response from Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

As one of the medical matrons, I am very sorry to hear about your husband’s experience in our A&E and Medical Short Stay Unit and that you found it necessary to complain.

It is always very disappointing when we learn that a patient has been unhappy with aspects of their treatment and care as this is not the standard that we would expect. It is certainly not acceptable that you witnessed patients waiting such a long time for attention and there were clearly other failings in the management of your husband’s medicines and in the way you were both communicated with.

We have taken on board your feedback about cleanliness in A&E and our new Lead Nurse is now conducting weekly audits of the area with the Cleaning Supervisor to ensure we achieve and maintain the standards expected. We have also reminded staff to check each cubicle before they are used by a new patient.

I would very much welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your husband and discuss your experiences in more detail. We are genuinely open to feedback and will always try to act on what we hear. If you are willing to arrange a meeting please contact me directly or via the Patient Experience Team on 01932 722948.

Susan Hardy

Medical Matron

01932 722206