Grandad launches attack on hospital

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A GRANDAD from Hucknall has lambasted a hospital over a “nightmare” stay he claims was blighted by sub-standard care and poor cleanliness.

Michael Streets (68), of Byron Street, was rushed to the accident and emergency department at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield with severe abdominal pains and sickness.

But since being discharged, he has launched a formal complaint. He claims he was left with soiled bed-sheets for most of his stay, and he has slammed the quality of food.

However, in an unusual twist, the hospital has now made counter-claims against Mr Streets, accusing him of making threats to staff over the social-networking website, Facebook.

Mr Streets, who was once well-known in local pubs and clubs as an Elvis Presley impersonator, was taken to King’s Mill by ambulance on Sunday February 19 after his wife of 47 years, Muriel, called 999.

The former miner says his troubles began when he was transferred to a bay in the emergency assessment unit (EAU).

“I felt like I was going to die there,” said the dad-of-three.

Mr Streets says food served to him was “diabolical”, and he described the tea as “pigswill”.

When he was switched to a side room, it was dirty and a previous patient’s medication was on the floor.

Mr Streets also claims that, on one night, he repeatedly called for a nurse because his stomach pains were so severe. But it twice took 30 minutes for her to come, and he wasn’t seen at all by a doctor that night.

“I think something should be done and an inquiry launched,” said Mr Streets. “I would like to be part of any inquiry to try and improve things.”

Mr Streets was suffering from severe gastro-enteritis and needed the toilet every few minutes. But at one point, he claims, he was ordered to stay in his room.

He says he was even told he could go home after the first night. But he still felt ill and pushed to be kept in.

“I felt like I was being penalised because I said I wanted to stay for another night,” said former taxi-driver Mr Streets.

“Ultimately, I want to prevent other people from experiencing something like this.”

Mr Streets has contacted the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS). He has now followed this up with a formal complaint to the Sherwood Forest Hospitals (SFH) NHS Trust, which runs King’s Mill.

A letter received by Mr Streets this week declares that his complaint will be investigated and that a response will be sent to him within 40 days.

On behalf of the hospital, Susan Bowler, executive nurse director for SFH, said: “Our dedicated staff are committed to providing first-class care and we take all patient concerns very seriously. We are currently investigating the issues raised by Mr Streets and will respond directly to him.

“However it is important to note that we have an excellent cleanliness and infection-control record at our hospitals, demonstrated by our hospitals being one week away from a two-year period without a single case of hospital-acquired MRSA blood-borne infection.

“In order to achieve these outstanding results, our staff follow strict guidelines in terms of the cleanliness of our hospitals and when patients are admitted with potentially infectious conditions, such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

“One of the most important aspects in containing the spread of such infections is to care for patients displaying these symptoms in a side room, so that they do not spread the infection to our other patients.

“Since his discharge from hospital, Mr Streets has made threats to our staff over a social networking site. We will not tolerate aggression and violence against our staff and, as such, we have reported the matter to the police, who are investigating. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while the investigation takes place.”

Mrs Bowler said the hospital was sorry Mr Streets was dissatisfied with the catering during his stay but she pinpointed a recent satisfaction-survey that showed 94% of patients rated the hospital’s food good-to-excellent.