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Worst in country: damning verdict of St Mary's patients

PUBLISHED: 12:43 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:08 07 September 2010

By Sanchez Manning ST MARY S has been rated one of the worst hospitals in the country for in-patient care in a major national survey released last week. The hospital, which joined Imperial Trust last year, came bottom in over 20 areas included in the report

By chez Manning

ST MARY'S has been rated one of the worst hospitals in the country for in-patient care in a major national survey released last week.

The hospital, which joined Imperial Trust last year, came bottom in over 20 areas included in the report and only scored highly in two categories.

In papers presented at a board meeting the trust's medical director Professor David Taube acknowledged that much of St Mary's poor performance revolves around attitude, manners, courtesy and communications,

The survey of 76,000 in-patients over 77 trusts, carried out by the Picker Institute last year, revealed that a high percentage of the respondents from St Mary's had been made to stay on mixed-sex wards and use the same shower facilities.

A staggering 94.64 per cent said that they felt threatened during their stay in the hospital by other patients and visitors.

It also emerged that an overwhelming number of patients were not happy with the care they received from both nurses and doctors.

More than 80 per cent said that they did not have confidence and trust in the nurses treating them.

And many complained of doctors and nurses talking in front of them as if they were not there.

Patients who had undergone operations at the hospital reported that they were given very little care or attention before or after the procedure.

The majority said that staff had not explained the risks or answered questions about their surgery.

Further serious failings were identified in St Mary's approach to pain control - over 50 per cent of respondents to the Picker study said they did not think staff had done everything they could to relieve their pain.

In a final blow to the hospital's record, high numbers of patients about to be discharged criticised staff for not telling them about danger signals to watch out for or who to contact if they are worried about their condition.

In response to the damning survey Imperial Trust has promised that work is now underway to improve patient satisfaction.

Among the new initiatives red pegs are now being attached to bedside curtains to remind staff to ask before entering in order to protect patients' privacy and dignity.

Claire Perry, the trust's managing director, said: "The results from the latest in-patient survey indicate that the trust has more work to do to make our patients feel valued and special as individuals.

"Our staff are caring and dedicated professionals but we recognise that we need to be more consistent in the service we provide and appreciate the personal perspectives of patients.

"A great deal of work is already under way to improve patient satisfaction.

"We must focus on how we can continue to improve our customer service and treat all patients as we would wish to be treated ourselves."

sanchez.manning@hamhigh.co.uk


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