New mother forced to stay in 'absolute cesspit' room at Watford General Hospital

New mother forced to stay in 'absolute cesspit' room at Watford General Hospital

New mother forced to stay in 'absolute cesspit' room at Watford General Hospital

New mother forced to stay in 'absolute cesspit' room at Watford General Hospital

First published in News
Last updated
Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A new mother was forced to stay in an "absolute cesspit" at Watford General Hospital just days after giving birth to her second child.

Chantelle Barbieri, 36, was moved to a room in the Katherine Ward after hospital staff discovered she had an infection.

But after arriving in the room, her husband Luigi Barbieri found that the toilet leaked when flushed, flies were in the shower, dirt was behind the main door and mould surrounded the windows.

The mother-of-two from Abbots Langley was admitted to the Vicarage Road hospital after feeling unwell in the week following the birth of Ava, the pair’s second child and Chantelle was seen by staff at the hospital before the newborn was due to have a routine check up.

Luigi said: "I was just looking round the room and I was in dismay, thinking that this room is a room where they put a mother and a baby if there is a problem.

"I just could not comprehend that anyone would be put in a room in that state."

Mr Barbieri, of Raymond Close, Abbots Langley was so angered by the state of the room he posted pictures of it on social networking site, Twitter.

He added: "I have had people tweet me saying that ‘I would not put my dog in that room.’"

After Mr. Barbieri raised concerns about the standard of the room, he sought the nearest on duty member of staff and was told "there was nothing we can do and there were no other rooms available."

However, Mrs Barbieri was moved to a room later that day.

But since taking to twitter to condemn the state of the room, the pair have met with the head of facilities and the head of midwives at Watford General Hospital and have been given reassurances that this will not happen again.

Despite his anger over the state of the room, the 43 year-old praised the standard of care his wife received from the midwives and nurses at the hospital.

He said: "I cannot say enough, the level of care my wife has received has been exemplary.

"The midwives and nurses are working with their hands tied behind their back and they cared for my wife fantastically."

The Abbots Langley man also praised Jenny Fake, one senior midwife at Watford General, who he described as a "lovely lady."

He said: "She was one of the first senior midwives who came to see my wife and made no bones about it and she was in disgust herself and apologised on behalf of the trust and Watford General Hospital."

Waftord General has been the scene of political disputes over recent months, with Labour leader Ed Miliband using a party political broadcast at the hospital to say that the hospital "has really desperately needed modernisation."

Jackie Ardley, chief nurse said: "I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Mr and Mrs Barbieri for the standard of the room that Mrs Barbieri was admitted to.

"Our director of estates has met with Mr and Mrs Barbieri and has personally apologised. 
The room was clearly not as clean or well maintained as I would have expected it to be. Mrs Barbieri was moved to another room as soon as we were made aware of the problem and I ordered a thorough clean of the entire room.

"In addition, our estates team have fixed the vast majority of the maintenance issues, including the chipped sockets.

"Plans are also in place to refurbish large parts of our maternity unit, including the bathrooms. This will improve the environment for all patients and fix other outstanding repairs.

"I understand that Mr and Mrs Barbieri are very happy with the care our maternity team provided, however I am very disappointed that this was compromised by the standard of the room."

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:41pm Tue 3 Jun 14

The Rover says...

Maybe we need a new hospital?
Maybe we need a new hospital? The Rover
  • Score: 20

2:11pm Tue 3 Jun 14

inside-watford says...

Although some responsibility lies with the hospital I would been looking at whoever does the cleaning be it internal staff or a contracted company.
Although some responsibility lies with the hospital I would been looking at whoever does the cleaning be it internal staff or a contracted company. inside-watford
  • Score: 18

2:55pm Tue 3 Jun 14

TRT says...

Better get used to it. No new hospital. Are you reading this, Dorothy?
The maternity unit is held up as being one of the better facilities on the site. The new hospital was supposed to be, what was it, 600 bed? Well, this new plan gives us well over 750 beds... but I don't think the patients will be able to use them. Not unless they can afford ~ £200,000 + £75,000 per bed.
Better get used to it. No new hospital. Are you reading this, Dorothy? The maternity unit is held up as being one of the better facilities on the site. The new hospital was supposed to be, what was it, 600 bed? Well, this new plan gives us well over 750 beds... but I don't think the patients will be able to use them. Not unless they can afford ~ £200,000 + £75,000 per bed. TRT
  • Score: 9

3:40pm Tue 3 Jun 14

newbie says...

Geez - I'm on Starfish ward with my son (same building) all the time and deal with worse than this. So all I have to do is post on Twitter and I can get an apology for five years worth of disgusting, uninhabitable facilities and get the ward their much needed repairs?? twitter, you have a new applicant!

On a side note, when I had my daughter 8 years ago and was on Katherine Ward, this was the level of cleanliness I saw as well, oh wait except there was blood all over the bathroom floors and no toilet seats on the toilets (yes they were the female toilets). Five years ago when my son was born, I expected it to be dirty so was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have the same experience. Instead, I was kicked out of the room I was in because a private health care patient was coming in. They were literally moving my stuff out of the room and cleaning it when I was up on Special Care Baby Unit with my sick child. This was **** poor behaviour especially from the head matron. I received an apology by voicemail later that day. It was only the cleaner who was embarrassed and apologised multiple times when I picked up my stuff and told them where to go.

But this hospital is great, isn't it?? We need more homes and more people to move into Watford, not a better hospital with the ever expanding population. Well done Dorothy. Good luck getting to be an MP!
Geez - I'm on Starfish ward with my son (same building) all the time and deal with worse than this. So all I have to do is post on Twitter and I can get an apology for five years worth of disgusting, uninhabitable facilities and get the ward their much needed repairs?? twitter, you have a new applicant! On a side note, when I had my daughter 8 years ago and was on Katherine Ward, this was the level of cleanliness I saw as well, oh wait except there was blood all over the bathroom floors and no toilet seats on the toilets (yes they were the female toilets). Five years ago when my son was born, I expected it to be dirty so was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have the same experience. Instead, I was kicked out of the room I was in because a private health care patient was coming in. They were literally moving my stuff out of the room and cleaning it when I was up on Special Care Baby Unit with my sick child. This was **** poor behaviour especially from the head matron. I received an apology by voicemail later that day. It was only the cleaner who was embarrassed and apologised multiple times when I picked up my stuff and told them where to go. But this hospital is great, isn't it?? We need more homes and more people to move into Watford, not a better hospital with the ever expanding population. Well done Dorothy. Good luck getting to be an MP! newbie
  • Score: 11

5:07pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Naming and shaming the hospital seems to have worked. Well done!

If it makes the management of the hospital start to provide facilities fit for its patients then it can only be a good thing.

I only wish I had thought of this when I had awful service and conditions from them some years back.

It's just a pity our hospital must be shamed into doing the right thing rather than just doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do.

I hope this starts an avalanche of complaints. We are not going to get a new hospital, Dorothy has seen to that, but we may be able to shame the hospital into fixing the current one.
Naming and shaming the hospital seems to have worked. Well done! If it makes the management of the hospital start to provide facilities fit for its patients then it can only be a good thing. I only wish I had thought of this when I had awful service and conditions from them some years back. It's just a pity our hospital must be shamed into doing the right thing rather than just doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do. I hope this starts an avalanche of complaints. We are not going to get a new hospital, Dorothy has seen to that, but we may be able to shame the hospital into fixing the current one. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 6

5:28pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Antony Tiernan, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust says...

Hi newbie,

We are really concerned to hear your comments about Starfish ward and would be extremely grateful if you could please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) so that they can look into this matter further.

Our PALS team can be contacted in 01923 217 198 or email pals@whht.nhs.uk.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to. My email is antony.tiernan@whht.
nhs.uk or call 01923 436 229. Alternatively, you can tweet me: @AntonyTiernan.

Antony Tiernan
Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Hi newbie, We are really concerned to hear your comments about Starfish ward and would be extremely grateful if you could please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) so that they can look into this matter further. Our PALS team can be contacted in 01923 217 198 or email pals@whht.nhs.uk. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to. My email is antony.tiernan@whht. nhs.uk or call 01923 436 229. Alternatively, you can tweet me: @AntonyTiernan. Antony Tiernan Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust Antony Tiernan, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Score: 0

8:17pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Mum of Teens says...

When going through a catalogue of issues whilst my son was awaiting consultant visits and subsequently an operation I contacted PALS more than once. I was always told that it would be looked into and they would get back to me. Not once did this happen. It was only after contacting the hospital but also copying in my MP that I got a letter of apology admitting that the process had gone wrong at most stages. It took nearly a year rather than the 18 weeks we are promised. It seems that making a public fuss is the only way.
When going through a catalogue of issues whilst my son was awaiting consultant visits and subsequently an operation I contacted PALS more than once. I was always told that it would be looked into and they would get back to me. Not once did this happen. It was only after contacting the hospital but also copying in my MP that I got a letter of apology admitting that the process had gone wrong at most stages. It took nearly a year rather than the 18 weeks we are promised. It seems that making a public fuss is the only way. Mum of Teens
  • Score: 6

10:11am Wed 4 Jun 14

rollingbevan says...

I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them.

Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you.

How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ?

Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford.
I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them. Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you. How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ? Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford. rollingbevan
  • Score: 16

10:14am Wed 4 Jun 14

rollingbevan says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
Naming and shaming the hospital seems to have worked. Well done!

If it makes the management of the hospital start to provide facilities fit for its patients then it can only be a good thing.

I only wish I had thought of this when I had awful service and conditions from them some years back.

It's just a pity our hospital must be shamed into doing the right thing rather than just doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do.

I hope this starts an avalanche of complaints. We are not going to get a new hospital, Dorothy has seen to that, but we may be able to shame the hospital into fixing the current one.
Yeah and what would UKIP do I wonder ? Kick out all the immigrants I guess oh wait thats most of the staff, or how about just privatising the hospital instead yeah?
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: Naming and shaming the hospital seems to have worked. Well done! If it makes the management of the hospital start to provide facilities fit for its patients then it can only be a good thing. I only wish I had thought of this when I had awful service and conditions from them some years back. It's just a pity our hospital must be shamed into doing the right thing rather than just doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do. I hope this starts an avalanche of complaints. We are not going to get a new hospital, Dorothy has seen to that, but we may be able to shame the hospital into fixing the current one.[/p][/quote]Yeah and what would UKIP do I wonder ? Kick out all the immigrants I guess oh wait thats most of the staff, or how about just privatising the hospital instead yeah? rollingbevan
  • Score: 2

10:26am Wed 4 Jun 14

garston tony says...

I must join the chorus of people who have had very poor experiences at Watford General.

Cleanliness is the most basic requirement and is one of the most simple things to do to boot, how this hospital can fail to get it right year after year after year is scandalous.

A few years ago whilst waiting to see a specialist I witnessed a cleaner 'washing' the floor by dragging a mop behind her the entire length of the corridor back wards and forwards whilst using her mobile the entire time ie not looking at what she was doing nor even wringing the mop out once. Needless to say the floor remained dirty, as was the ward that my partner was initially put in.

The NHS spends a fortune in compensation and dealing with complaints etc each year. If they spent an appropriate amount on keeping the hospital cleans, less people would have complications attributable to poor levels of hospital hygiene and they would actually save money.

And this whole thing with Milliband trying to make a political point about Watford Gen, it was a dump the whole 13 years of Labour rule so before he blasts the current government for its current condition he should hold up his hand and admit the government he was a part of did nothing at all towards improving its condition
I must join the chorus of people who have had very poor experiences at Watford General. Cleanliness is the most basic requirement and is one of the most simple things to do to boot, how this hospital can fail to get it right year after year after year is scandalous. A few years ago whilst waiting to see a specialist I witnessed a cleaner 'washing' the floor by dragging a mop behind her the entire length of the corridor back wards and forwards whilst using her mobile the entire time ie not looking at what she was doing nor even wringing the mop out once. Needless to say the floor remained dirty, as was the ward that my partner was initially put in. The NHS spends a fortune in compensation and dealing with complaints etc each year. If they spent an appropriate amount on keeping the hospital cleans, less people would have complications attributable to poor levels of hospital hygiene and they would actually save money. And this whole thing with Milliband trying to make a political point about Watford Gen, it was a dump the whole 13 years of Labour rule so before he blasts the current government for its current condition he should hold up his hand and admit the government he was a part of did nothing at all towards improving its condition garston tony
  • Score: 8

10:37am Wed 4 Jun 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

rollingbevan wrote:
I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them. Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you. How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ? Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford.
I really do not understand why some people think the NHS is free and we should all be grateful for whatever is offered by the NHS, no matter how awful. The NHS is something we all pay for through our taxes. We should expect more in return.

The alternative to the NHS?

How about a better-run NHS, with clean rooms, plenty of medical staff and equipment and a hospital to be proud of?

Are you really saying "The hospital is filthy, so what, just think yourself lucky you have an NHS at all"? That is an awful argument. It is the argument of failure.

The NHS is not free. We all pay for it through our taxes so we should expect a service fit for purpose. This wasn't fit for purpose and the hospital admitted it once embarrassed into it.

Now, the question is, this room didn't just appear, it's been dirty and decrepit for some time. This sort of squalor does not appear overnight.

Why was this allowed? Is the culture of the hospital at fault?

Given the choice between a good hospital and an awful hospital, I would choose good hospital every time. Personally I care not whether it is privately run or not, provided it provides a good service to the people it serves, free at the point of need.

Hinchinbrook Hospital is an example of the private sector rescuing a failing NHS hospital that would otherwise have closed. Now it is a success story and winning awards.

Don't knock the private sector just because it is the private sector, sometimes it is a better answer. Hinchinbrook is run by medical staff and not beaurocrats, it seems to be a shining example of how to do things right.

The NHS should copy this model.
[quote][p][bold]rollingbevan[/bold] wrote: I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them. Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you. How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ? Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford.[/p][/quote]I really do not understand why some people think the NHS is free and we should all be grateful for whatever is offered by the NHS, no matter how awful. The NHS is something we all pay for through our taxes. We should expect more in return. The alternative to the NHS? How about a better-run NHS, with clean rooms, plenty of medical staff and equipment and a hospital to be proud of? Are you really saying "The hospital is filthy, so what, just think yourself lucky you have an NHS at all"? That is an awful argument. It is the argument of failure. The NHS is not free. We all pay for it through our taxes so we should expect a service fit for purpose. This wasn't fit for purpose and the hospital admitted it once embarrassed into it. Now, the question is, this room didn't just appear, it's been dirty and decrepit for some time. This sort of squalor does not appear overnight. Why was this allowed? Is the culture of the hospital at fault? Given the choice between a good hospital and an awful hospital, I would choose good hospital every time. Personally I care not whether it is privately run or not, provided it provides a good service to the people it serves, free at the point of need. Hinchinbrook Hospital is an example of the private sector rescuing a failing NHS hospital that would otherwise have closed. Now it is a success story and winning awards. Don't knock the private sector just because it is the private sector, sometimes it is a better answer. Hinchinbrook is run by medical staff and not beaurocrats, it seems to be a shining example of how to do things right. The NHS should copy this model. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -2

12:32pm Wed 4 Jun 14

rollingbevan says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
rollingbevan wrote:
I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them. Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you. How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ? Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford.
I really do not understand why some people think the NHS is free and we should all be grateful for whatever is offered by the NHS, no matter how awful. The NHS is something we all pay for through our taxes. We should expect more in return.

The alternative to the NHS?

How about a better-run NHS, with clean rooms, plenty of medical staff and equipment and a hospital to be proud of?

Are you really saying "The hospital is filthy, so what, just think yourself lucky you have an NHS at all"? That is an awful argument. It is the argument of failure.

The NHS is not free. We all pay for it through our taxes so we should expect a service fit for purpose. This wasn't fit for purpose and the hospital admitted it once embarrassed into it.

Now, the question is, this room didn't just appear, it's been dirty and decrepit for some time. This sort of squalor does not appear overnight.

Why was this allowed? Is the culture of the hospital at fault?

Given the choice between a good hospital and an awful hospital, I would choose good hospital every time. Personally I care not whether it is privately run or not, provided it provides a good service to the people it serves, free at the point of need.

Hinchinbrook Hospital is an example of the private sector rescuing a failing NHS hospital that would otherwise have closed. Now it is a success story and winning awards.

Don't knock the private sector just because it is the private sector, sometimes it is a better answer. Hinchinbrook is run by medical staff and not beaurocrats, it seems to be a shining example of how to do things right.

The NHS should copy this model.
No what I was saying is that yes we obviously still have to pay for the NHS and I do think the trusts etc do need to do a better job, obviously dirty rooms and hospitals are not acceptable but what alternative did the staff have ?
They were obviously full with all rooms in use and then once a room was free'd up the patient was moved straight away.
I would say the biggest issue is that Watford General and many other hospitals are too old now and just not fit for purpose. Why spend several million on remaking the town centre when we can't even afford enough nurses and midwives for one of west herts main hospitals ?
Maybe the issue is that Watford now covers a much larger area than it was originally designed for and for a much larger population, it doesn't take a genius to work out this will lead to a degradation in care.

Now maybe if the reason Watford was like it is was due to poor management privatising it might help but do you really think a private company is going to be willing to invest in a new building and facilities ? Probably not eh but my major issue with private enterprises running NHS services or hospitals etc is that they understandably have to make a healthy profit. If most of the trusts struggle to even break even how would a private provider do this ? By cutting any non-essential or non profitable services or just dumping staff or having the bare amount to get by ?

As supposed politician maybe you should care about how or who is running a hospital, what the NHS really needs is better funding and less outsourcing to private companies who will happily try and get every last drop of profit by doing the min amount of work, and lets face it Hinchbrook is almost the exception to the rule not an example of how all privatisation works is it?
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rollingbevan[/bold] wrote: I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them. Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you. How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ? Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford.[/p][/quote]I really do not understand why some people think the NHS is free and we should all be grateful for whatever is offered by the NHS, no matter how awful. The NHS is something we all pay for through our taxes. We should expect more in return. The alternative to the NHS? How about a better-run NHS, with clean rooms, plenty of medical staff and equipment and a hospital to be proud of? Are you really saying "The hospital is filthy, so what, just think yourself lucky you have an NHS at all"? That is an awful argument. It is the argument of failure. The NHS is not free. We all pay for it through our taxes so we should expect a service fit for purpose. This wasn't fit for purpose and the hospital admitted it once embarrassed into it. Now, the question is, this room didn't just appear, it's been dirty and decrepit for some time. This sort of squalor does not appear overnight. Why was this allowed? Is the culture of the hospital at fault? Given the choice between a good hospital and an awful hospital, I would choose good hospital every time. Personally I care not whether it is privately run or not, provided it provides a good service to the people it serves, free at the point of need. Hinchinbrook Hospital is an example of the private sector rescuing a failing NHS hospital that would otherwise have closed. Now it is a success story and winning awards. Don't knock the private sector just because it is the private sector, sometimes it is a better answer. Hinchinbrook is run by medical staff and not beaurocrats, it seems to be a shining example of how to do things right. The NHS should copy this model.[/p][/quote]No what I was saying is that yes we obviously still have to pay for the NHS and I do think the trusts etc do need to do a better job, obviously dirty rooms and hospitals are not acceptable but what alternative did the staff have ? They were obviously full with all rooms in use and then once a room was free'd up the patient was moved straight away. I would say the biggest issue is that Watford General and many other hospitals are too old now and just not fit for purpose. Why spend several million on remaking the town centre when we can't even afford enough nurses and midwives for one of west herts main hospitals ? Maybe the issue is that Watford now covers a much larger area than it was originally designed for and for a much larger population, it doesn't take a genius to work out this will lead to a degradation in care. Now maybe if the reason Watford was like it is was due to poor management privatising it might help but do you really think a private company is going to be willing to invest in a new building and facilities ? Probably not eh but my major issue with private enterprises running NHS services or hospitals etc is that they understandably have to make a healthy profit. If most of the trusts struggle to even break even how would a private provider do this ? By cutting any non-essential or non profitable services or just dumping staff or having the bare amount to get by ? As supposed politician maybe you should care about how or who is running a hospital, what the NHS really needs is better funding and less outsourcing to private companies who will happily try and get every last drop of profit by doing the min amount of work, and lets face it Hinchbrook is almost the exception to the rule not an example of how all privatisation works is it? rollingbevan
  • Score: 4

12:40pm Wed 4 Jun 14

newbie says...

Dear Mr Tiernan,

I have found any PALS to be completely useless as they are strictly a liaison service. The only way to get things accomplished is through a formal complaint where people have to address the concerns in writing and prove they are correcting their mistakes. The last time we were in Starfish Ward I neglected to take pics of the horrific conditions of my son's room. The next time we are admitted, I will not make that mistake. I will be glad to email you personally to discuss how to make Starfish a more habitable ward.

Thank you for posting a message. You will hear from me shortly.
Dear Mr Tiernan, I have found any PALS to be completely useless as they are strictly a liaison service. The only way to get things accomplished is through a formal complaint where people have to address the concerns in writing and prove they are correcting their mistakes. The last time we were in Starfish Ward I neglected to take pics of the horrific conditions of my son's room. The next time we are admitted, I will not make that mistake. I will be glad to email you personally to discuss how to make Starfish a more habitable ward. Thank you for posting a message. You will hear from me shortly. newbie
  • Score: 2

1:03pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

rollingbevan wrote:
Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
rollingbevan wrote: I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them. Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you. How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ? Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford.
I really do not understand why some people think the NHS is free and we should all be grateful for whatever is offered by the NHS, no matter how awful. The NHS is something we all pay for through our taxes. We should expect more in return. The alternative to the NHS? How about a better-run NHS, with clean rooms, plenty of medical staff and equipment and a hospital to be proud of? Are you really saying "The hospital is filthy, so what, just think yourself lucky you have an NHS at all"? That is an awful argument. It is the argument of failure. The NHS is not free. We all pay for it through our taxes so we should expect a service fit for purpose. This wasn't fit for purpose and the hospital admitted it once embarrassed into it. Now, the question is, this room didn't just appear, it's been dirty and decrepit for some time. This sort of squalor does not appear overnight. Why was this allowed? Is the culture of the hospital at fault? Given the choice between a good hospital and an awful hospital, I would choose good hospital every time. Personally I care not whether it is privately run or not, provided it provides a good service to the people it serves, free at the point of need. Hinchinbrook Hospital is an example of the private sector rescuing a failing NHS hospital that would otherwise have closed. Now it is a success story and winning awards. Don't knock the private sector just because it is the private sector, sometimes it is a better answer. Hinchinbrook is run by medical staff and not beaurocrats, it seems to be a shining example of how to do things right. The NHS should copy this model.
No what I was saying is that yes we obviously still have to pay for the NHS and I do think the trusts etc do need to do a better job, obviously dirty rooms and hospitals are not acceptable but what alternative did the staff have ? They were obviously full with all rooms in use and then once a room was free'd up the patient was moved straight away. I would say the biggest issue is that Watford General and many other hospitals are too old now and just not fit for purpose. Why spend several million on remaking the town centre when we can't even afford enough nurses and midwives for one of west herts main hospitals ? Maybe the issue is that Watford now covers a much larger area than it was originally designed for and for a much larger population, it doesn't take a genius to work out this will lead to a degradation in care. Now maybe if the reason Watford was like it is was due to poor management privatising it might help but do you really think a private company is going to be willing to invest in a new building and facilities ? Probably not eh but my major issue with private enterprises running NHS services or hospitals etc is that they understandably have to make a healthy profit. If most of the trusts struggle to even break even how would a private provider do this ? By cutting any non-essential or non profitable services or just dumping staff or having the bare amount to get by ? As supposed politician maybe you should care about how or who is running a hospital, what the NHS really needs is better funding and less outsourcing to private companies who will happily try and get every last drop of profit by doing the min amount of work, and lets face it Hinchbrook is almost the exception to the rule not an example of how all privatisation works is it?
As I said before, I want the service to be right and I don't want to pay any extra as a taxpayer. It must be free at the point of need. That's what the NHS is there for.

How that service is delivered is not the issue for me, just that it is delivered, competently and on time.

One example Hinchinbrook gave was that instead of having to buy a dishwasher for £1500 as specified by the NHS, they were able to go out and buy one for £150 that did the job. 9/10 of the cost was saved by being private. No-one suffered. Service was not affected. Money was just saved. Quite a result for relatively little effort.

A private firm like Circle will look to save money without cutting services. The NHS has no such inclination and in fact is often prevented from using such common sense to save money.

If the NHS could be made to copy the best practices from the private sector then maybe that would be a good middle ground, but I just don't buy that everything should be run by the state because, frankly, that is where waste and inefficiency far outweighs the benefits, particularly in an organisation as large as the NHS.

Circle have done a marvellous job at Hinchinbrook. It is an example to follow, even if it is a private company.

Incidentally, Circle cut costs by using common sense and removing beaurocrats, letting medical staff have input to and manage the hospital.

I care about who runs a hospital, more than that though I care about how a hospital is run. Clearly our NHS hospital is not being run well enough.

You would probably find, like at Hinchinbrook, that it was not the funding that was the reason the hospital was failing, it was the culture of failure at the hospital by the management.

Profit should not be a dirty word, it is how and why all businesses run, and if it delivers a better service for less money, then why not use it?
[quote][p][bold]rollingbevan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rollingbevan[/bold] wrote: I saw this tweet the other day and the headline seems pretty misleading as once they complained and made the staff aware of the issues they were moved into a side room and had most of the staff apologising to them. Sometimes people need to stop and think of what the alternative to the NHS and if you dont like it go private or just ask how much just a room is at Watford general and be thankful the NHS is footing the bill and not you. How about instead of attacking an understaffed and over crowded hospital you direct your anger at the actual people responsible ? Maybe its time the Watford Observer and other newspapers did some actual journalism and took on the likes of Dorothy and co who would rather line the pockets of developers than look after the interests of Watford.[/p][/quote]I really do not understand why some people think the NHS is free and we should all be grateful for whatever is offered by the NHS, no matter how awful. The NHS is something we all pay for through our taxes. We should expect more in return. The alternative to the NHS? How about a better-run NHS, with clean rooms, plenty of medical staff and equipment and a hospital to be proud of? Are you really saying "The hospital is filthy, so what, just think yourself lucky you have an NHS at all"? That is an awful argument. It is the argument of failure. The NHS is not free. We all pay for it through our taxes so we should expect a service fit for purpose. This wasn't fit for purpose and the hospital admitted it once embarrassed into it. Now, the question is, this room didn't just appear, it's been dirty and decrepit for some time. This sort of squalor does not appear overnight. Why was this allowed? Is the culture of the hospital at fault? Given the choice between a good hospital and an awful hospital, I would choose good hospital every time. Personally I care not whether it is privately run or not, provided it provides a good service to the people it serves, free at the point of need. Hinchinbrook Hospital is an example of the private sector rescuing a failing NHS hospital that would otherwise have closed. Now it is a success story and winning awards. Don't knock the private sector just because it is the private sector, sometimes it is a better answer. Hinchinbrook is run by medical staff and not beaurocrats, it seems to be a shining example of how to do things right. The NHS should copy this model.[/p][/quote]No what I was saying is that yes we obviously still have to pay for the NHS and I do think the trusts etc do need to do a better job, obviously dirty rooms and hospitals are not acceptable but what alternative did the staff have ? They were obviously full with all rooms in use and then once a room was free'd up the patient was moved straight away. I would say the biggest issue is that Watford General and many other hospitals are too old now and just not fit for purpose. Why spend several million on remaking the town centre when we can't even afford enough nurses and midwives for one of west herts main hospitals ? Maybe the issue is that Watford now covers a much larger area than it was originally designed for and for a much larger population, it doesn't take a genius to work out this will lead to a degradation in care. Now maybe if the reason Watford was like it is was due to poor management privatising it might help but do you really think a private company is going to be willing to invest in a new building and facilities ? Probably not eh but my major issue with private enterprises running NHS services or hospitals etc is that they understandably have to make a healthy profit. If most of the trusts struggle to even break even how would a private provider do this ? By cutting any non-essential or non profitable services or just dumping staff or having the bare amount to get by ? As supposed politician maybe you should care about how or who is running a hospital, what the NHS really needs is better funding and less outsourcing to private companies who will happily try and get every last drop of profit by doing the min amount of work, and lets face it Hinchbrook is almost the exception to the rule not an example of how all privatisation works is it?[/p][/quote]As I said before, I want the service to be right and I don't want to pay any extra as a taxpayer. It must be free at the point of need. That's what the NHS is there for. How that service is delivered is not the issue for me, just that it is delivered, competently and on time. One example Hinchinbrook gave was that instead of having to buy a dishwasher for £1500 as specified by the NHS, they were able to go out and buy one for £150 that did the job. 9/10 of the cost was saved by being private. No-one suffered. Service was not affected. Money was just saved. Quite a result for relatively little effort. A private firm like Circle will look to save money without cutting services. The NHS has no such inclination and in fact is often prevented from using such common sense to save money. If the NHS could be made to copy the best practices from the private sector then maybe that would be a good middle ground, but I just don't buy that everything should be run by the state because, frankly, that is where waste and inefficiency far outweighs the benefits, particularly in an organisation as large as the NHS. Circle have done a marvellous job at Hinchinbrook. It is an example to follow, even if it is a private company. Incidentally, Circle cut costs by using common sense and removing beaurocrats, letting medical staff have input to and manage the hospital. I care about who runs a hospital, more than that though I care about how a hospital is run. Clearly our NHS hospital is not being run well enough. You would probably find, like at Hinchinbrook, that it was not the funding that was the reason the hospital was failing, it was the culture of failure at the hospital by the management. Profit should not be a dirty word, it is how and why all businesses run, and if it delivers a better service for less money, then why not use it? Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -3

5:03pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Popeonarope says...

Without wanting to detract from the obvious hygiene issues, i have to say i have only had good experiences from WGH. All three kids arrived without an issue and a few checkups were completed on time and with little or no waiting involved. The staff were pleasant and professional and the building, although run down looked clean to me.
It is obvious that the building needs radical modernisation or better still, a new location but with Dotty Dotty back in charge this is unlikely to happen without a strong pressure group campaigning for it, if there is such a thing?
Without wanting to detract from the obvious hygiene issues, i have to say i have only had good experiences from WGH. All three kids arrived without an issue and a few checkups were completed on time and with little or no waiting involved. The staff were pleasant and professional and the building, although run down looked clean to me. It is obvious that the building needs radical modernisation or better still, a new location but with Dotty Dotty back in charge this is unlikely to happen without a strong pressure group campaigning for it, if there is such a thing? Popeonarope
  • Score: 10

5:18pm Wed 4 Jun 14

TRT says...

One comment that's been raised regarding relocating the hospital somewhere more sensible is that there will still be housing going on the old hospital site. I've been thinking about that and I suggest that the area minus FTA is used for a "Vicarage Green" ecologically sound development. With the extra land the hospital's move would release, an extra primary and secondary school could be built, along with a GP and Dental clinic and the property development whilst not being car free could be car owner free by inviting say Zip Car in to provide a pool of shared cars. With the BRE on our doorstep it would be madness not to ask them for assistance in such a venture and secure a new kudos for Watford as a forward thinking, sustainable living council.
One comment that's been raised regarding relocating the hospital somewhere more sensible is that there will still be housing going on the old hospital site. I've been thinking about that and I suggest that the area minus FTA is used for a "Vicarage Green" ecologically sound development. With the extra land the hospital's move would release, an extra primary and secondary school could be built, along with a GP and Dental clinic and the property development whilst not being car free could be car owner free by inviting say Zip Car in to provide a pool of shared cars. With the BRE on our doorstep it would be madness not to ask them for assistance in such a venture and secure a new kudos for Watford as a forward thinking, sustainable living council. TRT
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Sun 8 Jun 14

EricaCharles says...

The post natal ward at Watford was built when babies were taken to the nursery at night so mothers could get some rest. Now four mothers and four babies are together all night, mothers are told they are responsible for their babies 24 hours a day even after a Caesarean section or when they've missed a whole nights sleep because they were in labour. After little sleep women are discharged exhausted and demoralised. At home they receive only three visits in the first ten days instead of daily visits. I am sorry that the NHS cannot provide better care.
The post natal ward at Watford was built when babies were taken to the nursery at night so mothers could get some rest. Now four mothers and four babies are together all night, mothers are told they are responsible for their babies 24 hours a day even after a Caesarean section or when they've missed a whole nights sleep because they were in labour. After little sleep women are discharged exhausted and demoralised. At home they receive only three visits in the first ten days instead of daily visits. I am sorry that the NHS cannot provide better care. EricaCharles
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree