he 48-year-old patient, who arrived at around 7pm on Tuesday evening (November 23), says she was unexpectedly transferred after a week-long stay in Wythenshawe.
READ MORE: Patients on trolleys in corridors, kids with weak immune systems filling A&E, and GPs who can’t give you answers – what it’s really like right now in the NHS
Upon her arrival at Trafford General, she was led to a ward and room she claims were ‘disgusting’.
The conditions were so dire, says the patient, they were detrimental to her mental health, which she was there to be treated for in the first place.
A Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson apologised and said it ‘falls way below the standards we set ourselves in terms of cleanliness and patient environment’, and said ‘immediate action’ had been taken.
After that, she says she was shown to a room which had not yet been cleared after the last patient.
The ward is an adult, female-only ward supporting patients with mental health concerns, operated by Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust.
“They weren’t expecting us, they didn’t know about [my transfer]. Fair enough, communications issues happen,” the patient told the Manchester Evening News .
“Then I was shown to, what was called, ‘my room’. But the linen hadn’t even been changed from the previous patient, it was all still there.
“They had to hurriedly sort it all. I asked the nurse ‘are you going to wipe it down?’ And she said ‘yeah, I’ll do that’. She did but she said ‘oh, we didn’t realise the sink was blocked in here, I’ll flag it as urgent’.
“I had to sweep my bedroom myself because the floor was so filthy with bits on it. I asked for a dustpan and brush, got a load of disinfectant wipes. I got on my hands and knees and wiped the floor down. I don’t want to touch anything because it’s revolting. “
More than 12 hours after the staff member labelled the blocked sink as ‘urgent’, no one had been to solve the problem, claims the patient.
The frustrated woman decided to use the communal bathroom to wash instead, only to find yet more ‘squalor’.
“When I went to have a wash in the bathroom, because I couldn’t in my room with the sink being blocked, I couldn’t even put my soap and towel down because I didn’t want them to touch anything,” she continued.
“The bathroom was so filthy. There’s only three toilets – one of them is blocked and the other two have no toilet paper in them.
“You’re limited to what you can do, really.
“The basic human rights of going to the toilet, for example – I’m having to go round looking for hand towels to use as tissue because I need to use the toilet. It shouldn’t be like that.”
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, bins were ‘overflowing’, explained the patient, who the M.E.N. is not identifying to protect her privacy.
“I thought, ‘I’ll go and get a cup of tea’, I went to put my teabag in the bin and the bins were overflowing onto the floor,” she said.
“A staff member told me to ‘just throw it in’, I told them ‘this is disgusting, just shocking that people are being left like this’.”
‘It’s not good for my mental health’
The patient, from Urmston, does not yet know the length of her stay on the Medlock ward, leading to fears that her mental health will regress because of the conditions.
“It’s ironic but it’s actually not good for my mental health to be here – you can’t go to the toilet, you can’t have a shower, you can’t have a wash to feel clean. It’s absolutely harming my recovery.
“When I was at AMU, it was lovely. I had a shower there, nothing was blocked, it was really nice.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to be staying here but I’m hoping my family will be my advocates and get me home as soon as possible.
“I want to go home so I can be in a clean environment.”
“They just seem under-resourced in every area.
“I’ve stayed in my room as much as possible. I go out to the toilet if I need it, but how clean is it in light of things like Covid? Are surfaces wiped down, handles? I don’t trust it.
“The only person I’ve really seen to talk to about the mess was the nurse who told me to put my tea bag on top of the bin pile.
“I think they get away with it because they think no one is going to listen to the mentally ill. They can give us conditions that are not worthy of criminals and we just have to accept them, there’s little we can do about it.
“This isn’t acceptable at all. This is why I want to speak out.”
After the M.E.N. approached the trust with the pictures, the patient says cleaning staff attended the ward to mop her room and unblock the sink.
Investigation launched, trust says
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust indicated that staff are unsure how the conditions deteriorated – an investigation has now been launched to find out.
A trust boss then issued an apology to the patient.
Gill Green, Director of Nursing and Governance for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very sorry for the experience this individual had on our Medlock Ward at the Moorside Unit in Trafford. This falls way below the standards we set ourselves in terms of cleanliness and patient environment.
Full article here
Source: Manchester Evening News, 25th November 2021