"For a fairly large hospital, the ..."

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

(as other),

What I liked

For a fairly large hospital, the site is clean, well-maintained and the staff are friendly and willing to help. Despite recent re-organisations and Agenda for Change matters, the staff do act well as a team and always put the patient first. When the pressure is on, you do realise the quality of all grades and the value in their experience. Management and senior clinical staff are also down-to-earth, as many started at the ground floor they haven't forgotten how challenging it can be for normal staff.A lot of work has been done on reducing waiting times and the Trust meets the targets for A&E and cancer. This doesn't make the headlines but makes a big difference to the care of patients. The maternity and paediatric areas deserve praise in particular, but also the less visible areas such as pathology, medical education and specialist nurses.It has been a turbulent time for staff at the Trust (and elsewhere in the NHS) but as things have settled down, the atmosphere has got lighter and I think that is reflected in the service to the patient. The future consultation is a worry (as the Royal Surrey or St. Peter's may lose an A&E service - leading to a lot of local media attention and community comment) but the Trust is in a good financial position and has a very positive outlook.

What could be improved

Some of the older parts of the hospital are in poor condition and not very welcoming in terms of lighting and appearance. The site is very confusing to navigate - often you will start on one level and end up turned around somewhere else entirely. You often find lost visitors around the corridors - hospitals can be a frightening place and more work needs to be done in this area. Despite their best intentions, many staff find it difficult to locate unfamiliar areas as well.Car parking has been a constant problem and during the busy times you can only find a space by pure luck. The facilities for visitors could be improved - the main restaurant is in a far corner of the site and many people wouldn't be able to find it. Although the site is 5 minutes from junction 11 of the M25 for car travellers, don't try to get their by train (as Chertsey is off the mainline and then it is a two mile walk to the hospital). The last buses run at 7pm but visiting times end at 8pm, so getting to the Trust is an issue (although not the hospital's fault!).A lot of work has gone on with regard to infection control, but the statistics (and recent D&V outbreaks) highlight that this is still an issue to overcome. Losing the A&E at our sister site in Ashford has had a direct impact on services at that hospital (it is now a 24 hour walk-in centre but many wards have closed over there as well) and although the decision was understandable financially, it was a major blow to the local area. It is always upsetting to see an empty hospital and whilst St. Peter's has grown stronger it has been at a cost to Ashford.

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