My elderly father and mother have had such difficulty in dealing with this hospital. The service is awful, cleanliness and hygiene is poor, patient care seems nearly non existent and patients are always kept in the dark and waiting for hours on end.
My father was taken ill into GWH a number of weeks ago, the nurses seemed incapable of performing routine tasks such as taking blood and putting a catheter in. They seem to use people as pin-cushions here way before getting someone to perform a procedure that is capable.
Worse than this, my father had kidney issues and was in the urology department (the one we have had all of the issues with). Part of the process is keeping a high, but steady fluid intake into each patient and monitoring this. On several occasions I had to walk around the ward trying to find someone to bring him water after asking many times. A simple requirement like this turned into a very long winded process and on one occasion took over two hours to get a jug of water for him.
The nurses and doctors were also using a sink in the ward (Ampney ward) that had no soap, they were simply washing with water after examining patients and performing procedures. After telling them on several occasions there was no anti-bacterial hand wash, they listened and put some in, but this took THREE days. Nobody that I saw in this time used the solution at the end of each bed to kill bacteria or germs. On another occasion, a sterile carton was opened, then left on a dirty window sill with an open window for over 30 minutes before the doctor returned and then went to use the implements on my father – he was surprised when we refused.
Procedures and timing is always late, and we aren’t talking the odd hour, we are talking hours upon hours, sometimes an entire day. In this time, it seems impossible to get any answers from the staff – the doctors or people that are in the ‘know’ are never available.
Trying to talk to anyone also seems impossible. Secretaries and administrative staff seem to go home as early as 3:30, if you try to talk to somebody on the phone to resolve an issue they simply transfer you all around until you either have a phone ringing off the hook or an answer phone.
My father went back into hospital for an operation today, they made him get changed into a gown and wait in the normal outpatient area for six hours – three hours passed the appointment, during this time no one as normal seemed to know what was going on and simply told my parents to wait for the doctor. At 17:30 staff packed up and went home, they told my father to get dressed and go home as they couldn’t do it now.
Upon complaining they were told they would just have to sit around and wait to speak to the doctor with no indication again of how long he would be, then staff proceeded to go home.
I called the hospital to ask what was going on after my mother called me upset (they were very worried about the operation as it was, and now had yet again been messed around). The switchboard put me through incorrectly to the booking centre, then I went back to the switch board, then they transferred me to the ward which rang off the hook. Then they told me the staff in that ward had gone home earlier, they transferred me to another ward incorrectly who couldn’t help (but I was told they could), I then went back to the switchboard after complaining they said there was nothing they could do and transferred me to the customer liaison team who go home at 4:30.
Honestly, this is pathetic. I get the feeling the only way someone gets any treatment or service is if they are dying and turn up in an ambulance.