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Readers react after dirty ward claims

PUBLISHED: 03:02 30 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:33 03 March 2010

SHOCK claims that filthy wards at Ipswich hospital led to a pensioner dying from an infection today prompted a huge response from readers.

We revealed yesterday how 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.

SHOCK claims that filthy wards at Ipswich hospital led to a pensioner dying from an infection today prompted a huge response from readers.

We revealed yesterday how 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.

The sisters claimed that he had to clean the toilet floors himself to stop his surgical stockings getting ruined.

They said there were no mops because they were all locked away because the cleaners had gone home.

Several readers have called and written to us to tell us their own stories about the hospital – both good and bad.

These include Brian Coleman from Mayfield Road, Ipswich.

He said that he went into Ipswich Hospital around three weeks ago for a repeat operation that he had around ten years ago and when admitted to Woodbridge Ward was pleased with the cleanliness and airiness of the ward.

In a letter to the Star he outlined his shock at the story. He said he was pleased with the friendly competence of all concerned with both his stay, treatment, meals and frequent changing of bed linen.

He wrote: "At all stages I was kept informed of my treatment. In all a first class service.

"As for the toilets, of which there was a choice of three, one with a bidet, one with a shower and one with a bath, all were spotless.

"I have every reason to be delighted with the health service and Ipswich hospital."

June Bloomfield, 61 from Great Wenham, said she had been rushed into Ipswich Hospital at the beginning of this month in the middle of the night.

She spent time on Claydon, Needham and Martlesham Ward and each time said her treatment could not be faulted.

When a disruptive patient caused Mrs Bloomfield to request to be moved in the middle of the night, even though the staff were extremely busy she was moved to the day room and made comfortable until she could be moved to another ward.

She said: "My family could not have been treated better if they were royalty.

"They were given tea and toast so they did not have to leave my bedside.

"Everything was clean and if I had paid for BUPA I could not have had better service."

Others have not been so lucky. A Great Blakenham and a Felixstowe man have both come forward but do not want to be named because they are still undergoing hospital treatment.

The Great Blakenham man spent three days on Woodbridge Ward but said he walked out because he could bear it no longer.

The 36-year-old claimed that when he went to the toilet he had to straddle human waste on the floor.

He said: "When I saw the story yesterday I though that everything was true.

"I was on Claydon Ward to start with and then was moved to Woodbridge Ward and it was awful."

The Felixstowe man said he had spent time on the private ward on two occasions earlier this year and while the staff could not be faulted the hygiene left a lot to be desired.

He said: "I had friends that had to come in and clean my sink for me.

"At the weekends it was always fine but in the week the cleaning lady would just come in and throw some powder round the toilet and go."

There was also no extractor fan or window in the bathroom."

Spokeswoman for the hospital Jan Rowsell 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."

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