"Hygiene and toilet facilities"

About: University Hospital Galway

(as the patient),

In September 2016 I spent 2 nights in Galway University Hospital on a 6-bedded ward which grew to an 8-bedded ward each night as 2 more beds were wheeled in and blocked access to the shower. There was 1 toilet for all of to use which had a small wash basin. Other than the hand-washing sink in the ward itself this was the only place to wash face, body, clean teeth etc. The commode was stored in the toilet and each morning there was a jug of urine on the window sill. I was so appalled that I took photos. There was also 1 shower room for everyone to use which had no sink or other facilities.

I would suspect that the main source of infection was the curtains between each bed as these were handled by every person from patients, visitors, clinical staff, cleaners and those providing meals/water etc.

On the morning of my surgery I asked what the protocol was with regard to showering/bathing and was told that there was none. I could have a shower if I wanted one. Is it any wonder that infection control is so poor in these places? There is no regard for basic hygiene and the incredible numbers of people touching the curtains was staggering.

I needed to have a drip set up as the previous one was pouring fluid into my tissue and not my blood stream - it took 8 hours for the doctor to arrive to do this and then the same problem occurred when it was sited in the opposite arm so I just gave up. I ended up driving home having had about 300ml of fluids in the previous 24 hours!

On the patient info board above my bed it clearly stated my preferred name but no-one bothered to look and called me by the name on the file instead. What is the point of answering these questions if no-one bothers to pay any attention to what is written?

My surgery meant that I was only allowed 30ml water per hour afterwards with no food yet the caterers still came in and offered me meal choices. It was a good job that I was able to decline as a lesser person could have accepted what they were offered and caused themselves all sorts of injuries.

The only up-side was the way most of the nurses treated me. They were very nice to me but they did not explain why they were asking people to do things and I heard the lady next to me screaming out in pain while they were trying to mobilise her following a hip op. Never once did they tell why it was important for her to get moving. More explanation could have averted all the shouting and trauma for both the patient and the others on the ward.

I don't see why it was necessary for one nurse to march in and throw open the curtains in my secluded part of the ward before 8am when I had been up all night waiting for the duty doctor to re-site my drip. No sleep for me then. : -(

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