Tea taken, pa­tient parched

Manukau Courier - - FRONT PAGE - EMILY FORD

End­ing up in hospi­tal for a week, a de­cent cuppa and a hot meal were all Raewyn Clark longed for. Yet, it wasn’t what she got. She was sick with the flu for five days at Mid­dle­more Hospi­tal in July, an ex­pe­ri­ence she says was very un­pleas­ant.

Her food was cold and ined­i­ble, her bed wasn’t made, and she re­ceived no help with show­er­ing, she says. Be­cause of her sick­ness, some staff wore masks while at­tend­ing to her, while clean­ers and food han­dlers didn’t, which she says seemed to be a dou­ble stan­dard.

The tip­ping point was when her hus­band, Gra­hame, tried to ease her stress by mak­ing her a cup of tea - only to find hot drink fa­cil­i­ties were re­moved from the ward. Staff then told him vis­i­tors kept steal­ing the sup­plies, so they were moved to a staff-only area.

‘‘All in all, it was not a pleas­ant stay, I was de­ter­mined to get home,’’ Clark says.

‘‘I told Gra­hame that if I ever have to go to hospi­tal again, do not put me back in Mid­dle­more.’’

Clark has been to Mid­dle­more Hospi­tal twice this year. The first time was af­ter get­ting con­cussed from a fall, where she ended up in the stretched-to-ca­pac­ity ED and was dis­charged within the day. The sec­ond visit, only weeks later, was for a chest in­fec­tion which led to the flu virus, re­sult­ing in her five night stay on two dif­fer­ent wards.

Clark let the health board know she was unim­pressed, and phar­macy man­ager San­joy Nand came to visit her while she was in hospi­tal. She says he was em­pa­thetic of her sit­u­a­tion.

Re­spond­ing to Manukau Courier, Nand says he apol­o­gised to Clark for her meal at the time, which was cold be­cause it was a late or­der due to her ar­riv­ing later in the evening. He con­firms the tea and cof­fee had been re­moved from the ward be­cause of vis­i­tors help­ing them­selves to the sup­plies. Medicine wards have since re­in­stated the open area for pa­tients and fam­i­lies, with hot wa­ter, sup­plies, and a mi­crowave, Nand says.

He says staff who are in di­rect con­tact with pa­tients must fol­low stan­dard in­fec­tion con­trol pre­cau­tions, and he says those were fol­lowed. Nand says bed sheets aren’t changed ev­ery­day, only on re­quest or if re­quired. Coun­ties Manukau DHB spokes­woman Lau­ren Young says the DHB is sorry Clark’s ex­pe­ri­ence didn’t meet ex­pec­ta­tions.

EMILY FORD

Not be­ing able to get a cup of tea at Mid­dle­more Hospi­tal was just the tip­ping point of Raewyn Clark’s ‘‘un­pleas­ant’’ stay dur­ing this win­ter’s rush.

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