Filthy wards - patients speak out

A TIDE of comments about the cleanliness of Ipswich Hospital today continued to flood into the Evening Star.They were prompted by Wednesday's claims that filthy wards at Ipswich hospital led to a pensioner dying from an infection.

A TIDE of comments about the cleanliness of Ipswich Hospital today continued to flood into the Evening Star.

They were prompted by Wednesday's claims that filthy wards at Ipswich hospital led to a pensioner dying from an infection.

Grieving sisters Eve Rumsby and Jenny Townes spoke out about how the once fit 88-year-old contracted a bug in the hospital which led to his death on July 6.

Readers who spoke out to praise the hospital since the reactions printed on Friday, include:

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Chantry man James McCabe who has been in and out of hospital for the last nine months.

He said that he has been on every ward apart from Kirton Ward.

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The 54-year-old from Swallow Road, said: "Everything that was done for me was fantastic.

"When the cleaners came in, they would ask me to move if I was in my chair so they could clean underneath it. I have never ever come across a dirty ward.

"If ever I went into the toilet and there was something dirty in there I would call a nurse and they would clean it up.

"When I picked the paper up I just could not believe it."

Jean Double's husband, Fred has been in Ipswich Hospital three times since Christmas.

She said: "Everything is clean and if he wanted anything he would just ring or put his hand up and the doctor or nurse was there.

"There was a sink right next to his bed and everytime staff went to see anyone they always washed their hands."

Cliff Hardwick, 74, of Medway Road, Ipswich, never saw any dirty wards during his 15 weeks in hospital after an operation for cancer of the oesophagus.

He was in intensive care for ten weeks, and did catch the hospital bug MRSA, but said: "The treatment was first class. I was in an isolation ward and all my visitors had to wear sterile clothing, and nurses cleaned the toilet. The nurses are devoted to their work."

But Diana Vinyard from Ipswich and others had a different story.

She was in hospital for eight weeks and spent time on Brantham Ward and Hintlesham Ward.

While on Brantham Ward, the 65-year-old said she was shocked at the dirt on the ward.

She has MS and because she had broken her ankle she was unable to stand or walk.

She said: "I had to have a hoist which comes with a canvas sling.

"Three or four people had to use it and when it was bought to me it reeked of urine."

Mrs Vinyard complained and was given her own sling, however although she said the nurses were absolutely wonderful, the cleaning was not satisfactory.

Sheila Sherman from Sidegate Lane West, Ipswich was in hospital for a double hip replacement in the year 2000.

She was appalled at the hygiene during her stay.

Mrs Sherman, 63, said: "I saw one nurse pushing a trolley lift a dressing on a patients infected leg and then carry on without washing his hands.

"When I went to the toilet I had to clean it myself at the weekend with one hand on my zimmer frame and a piece of wet toilet roll.

"I had to do that before I could sit down."

Maxine Elsom from The Street, Melton, said a consultant failed to wash his hands between patients while her son Oakley was in hospital for an operation two years ago.

Oakley, now five, caught an infection and had to receive antibiotics.

Mrs Elsom said when she was on a maternity wards he also saw blood on the floor which was not cleared up.

She added: "I think it's disgusting that staff should get away with not washing their hands."

A former patient of Woodbridge Ward said today: "I was in there 18 months ago, for a week, for a hernia operation which kept being postponed."

He reported problems including a holey pillowslip and blood-stained floor to then MP, the late Jamie Cann to investigate.

Spokeswoman for the hospital Jan Rowsell has said that last year 363,000 people were cared for at the hospital and that there were 350 complaints.

She said that the hospital encouraged people to speak out and that all complaints were viewed constructively.

She said: "We do not always live up to people's expectations but we have high standards and are determined to put right anything which people identify as being wrong.

"We are trying really hard to achieve our three star status in the coming 24 months."


To have your say on hospital cleanliness, please now log onto or write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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