UNSANITARY conditions and lack of care at Great Western Hospital turned what should have been a routine admission into a nightmare, a patient has claimed.
John Olding, 65, of Kingshill, has lodged a series of formal complaints with both the hospital and the Care Quality Commission about his time at GWH.
After being misdiagnosed, John returned to the hospital with infected gallstones, and was shocked at the treatment provided on some of the wards.
He said: “I was being sick all the time and was violently ill. My daughter took me into the hospital, but because I was throwing up all the time I had to wait out in the car park.
“I was left down there for about two hours in the early morning and no one came to see me. My daughter was sitting inside and could not come to help in case they called my name and I lost my place.
“Eventually I got to see a doctor who said I may have gallstones, but they dosed me up with morphine and sent me away.
“Two days later I felt really ill and was readmitted. The doctor I saw this time confirmed I had gallstones, and because they were so infected I had to go on antibiotics straight away.
“They put me in with the surgical assessment team, and the lady in the bed next to me died during the night. Her catheter fell out overnight and was spilling out blood and urine over the floor.
“Four bottles of urine were spilled next to my bed and wasn’t cleaned up after a nurse had knocked it over.
“A second nurse then came in and dropped surgical needles on the table, not realising it had just been covered with urine.
“After five days I was taken up to the day surgery. They ended up giving me morphine and throwing me out because they needed the bed space. All the nurses were complaining that there were not enough staff there.”
John said that when he complained to one of the doctors that the quality of the nursing was atrocious he says he was told that because they were all agency staff, nothing could be done about it.
Lynne Grange, John’s partner, said: “I had to keep asking every time he needed his saline drip changed.
“It hadn’t been working for almost three hours, and I had to keep pestering the nurses.
“It was disgusting, with urine bottles left on the tables. It was hours waiting for them to be cleaned up, and the smell was atrocious.
“There is just a lack of care and respect for people in there.
“I understand they are busy, but this is basic care we are talking about, trying to make sure the place is clean and the people are well looked after.”
Alf Troughton, medical director at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are sorry to hear about this gentleman’s experience.
“We are already in contact with him and will be addressing his concerns.
“Our staff pride themselves on delivering high quality care and it’s disappointing for everyone if we fall below these standards.
“Wards are checked regularly throughout the day and each ward has dedicated housekeeping staff responsible for making sure the area meets our high standards.”
The hospital is investing £1m on recruiting extra nursing staff for the upcoming busy winter period.
A spokesman for GWH said: “Demand for our services is extremely high all year round.
“For example on July 21 this year, 287 people attended the Emergency Department, the highest number on record.
“The extra nurses will help us care for the increasing number of patients we are seeing and enable our nurses to spend more time caring directly for patients.”