Stafford Hospital

I really can’t get away from Stafford Hospital. It’s only a few miles away from me and is one of our local hospitals. It’s also in the news day after day. I don’t just mean one day, I mean every single blinkin’ day.

Some of you may remember that my father was at Stafford Hospital in 2007. I really didn’t see a massive problem with the ward he was on those 6 years ago. At the time it was the first time I’d been in a hospital ward for a long time and I had no real idea of what to expect.

However, now I compare it to subsequent visits I can easily see why Stafford Hospital had issues back then. I remember attending the ward my dad was on. The doors were open, I (and others) could walk in and out easily. There were very rarely and nurses behind the main desk in the ward and, during many visits, I rarely saw more than one nurse in what was a large ward. Water wasn’t refilled and, as a daily visitor, I ended up filling up the jug of water daily.

Part of me doesn’t want to bad-mouth the hospital, because I know that both now and back then there were (and still are) very hard working people. The management failed. The management didn’t listen to the concerns of staff. The management didn’t provide or allocate enough staff. The management chased that much-wanted “Foundation” status and patient care simply took a back seat. It was all about the numbers, the costs and the expenditure. Keeping that all under control helped to make the hospital look good, but inside staff were being stretched – having little time, no breaks, no help and they were consistently being ignored by management.

I also don’t want to write about this too much because, deep down, I lost my father and nothing will ever change that.