I was hospitalised recently for 13 nights and whilst no stay in hospital can be described as pleasant it was necessary. You see I hadn’t been feeling great for a few days and on that Sunday evening I was unable to get myself off the floor; no I hadn’t fallen I was practising some Yoga and just couldn’t get up. Jean brought me to the local hospital where I was admitted through the Emergency Department (ED).
The Triage Nurse on hearing the word ‘sepsis’ whisked me through reception, took an initial set of observations and called a doctor. In the meantime Jean completed the necessary paperwork and my medical history for the doctor who was now at hand. Fortunately it was a relatively quiet evening in the ED and I was administered an Intravenous (IV) antibiotic within a short period. It was only relatively quiet as there were no trolleys available in the ED and no beds available in the hospital. I remained in the triage room overnight.
The following morning I was moved onto a corridor in my wheelchair where I remained for the rest of the day. Later that evening I was relieved to be transferred to a trolley and in the small hours of the following morning I was finally transferred to a ward with a real bed about 30 hours after arriving at the ED. My stay in the ED gave me a clearer understanding of the discomfort and lack of basic privacy experienced by patients. People should never have to endure these conditions. Being a mere statistic on ‘Trolley Watch’ is not good and for a short period I had been just that, a statistic.
I was very disappointed with the washrooms in the three rooms in which I stayed; none of them had bilateral supports at the toilet or a mirror positioned at an appropriate height to facilitate seated shaving and only one had a shower cubicle which was small, had a step and no support rails were evident. In my opinion unilateral support is insufficient anywhere within a hospital. However the doors to the washrooms were wide enough for my wheelchair and could open inward or outward. A room for assisted bathing was available on the ward but alas no shower. I did not avail of the assisted bathing. I did manage to shower in another ward but I raised serious concerns about that shower room which again lacked adequate support rails and space was poorly utilised.
During a light hearted moment I told some of the staff that I was going to do a Trip Advisor report but this is as close as it will get. I was sick and my taste buds weren’t functioning well but I know enough about food to say that whilst not Michelin quality it was tasty and edible. My standout dishes were a very tasty Shepherd’s Pie and a gorgeous Strawberry Cheese Cake.
I spent a total of 13 nights in hospital and I cannot praise the staff highly enough. They did their individual, and collective, bests under difficult circumstances.
Overall the hospital served its purpose. I recovered and wrote this at home but the facilities could be better, much better. Hospitals cater for people who are not in the best of health and designers should make every effort to make patients feel safe and secure. It’s not rocket science it’s common sense; very often what appear to be small issues make a big difference.