Your comments: Mixed service at hospital

I am not surprised that the Lister Hospital ranked so badly for MRSA. I am currently undergoing treatment for kidney failure and had to stay in Ward 6B for a biopsy last year. The standards of cleanliness left a lot to be desired, for example the person e

I am not surprised that the Lister Hospital ranked so badly for MRSA. I am currently undergoing treatment for kidney failure and had to stay in Ward 6B for a biopsy last year. The standards of cleanliness left a lot to be desired, for example the person employed to clean the ward used the same cleaning cloth to wipe down the top of bins, window sills and then proceeded to wipe the railings on the beds - all with the same cloth.

I am booked in to have a small operation to prepare for dialysis and will be packing my own cleaning wipes so that if I am mobile enough I will be cleaning my area myself!!

I have only dealt with the renal department of the hospital, and the organisational skills are dire, it makes me shudder to think what other more critical areas of the hospital are like.

I can also believe the problems with medication, as I am asked at every clinic appointment what medication I am taking and the dosage, on their system it still lists me as taking medication that I stopped a year ago, and no one ever seems to update it or save the changes on the system.

Since having to deal directly with staff in the NHS, I fully understand why people decide to go private. Unfortunately for me, I now have a pre-existing condition so am unable to go private also.

ERMINE HUNTE, Malthouse Green, Wigmore, Luton

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* Don't you get sick of carping on about the Lister Hospital? I have been privileged to enjoy the finest treatment at the Lister Hospital for over 30 years, both as an out-patient on countless occasions and an in-patient on several. My medical history is littered with serious and less serious problems.

Throughout these 30 years I have had nothing but praise for every person with whom I have had contact, be it ambulance personnel, nurses or top consultants.

For goodness sake, let us have a little more even-handed approach to the NHS, not eternally slagging it off! How would you feel if everyone slagged off every effort you made to carry out your designated task? OK the NHS has problems, don't we all have problems? Get a life!

Mr BJ SMITH, Whitehill Road, Hitchin

* With regard to your article on the conditions at the Lister Hospital, I am not at all surprised by the findings of the National Patient Safety Agency; I work in the funeral industry and deal with the bereaved on a daily basis, who constantly report the continued poor treatment of their loved ones.

I too have experienced misdiagnosis, dirty wards and so on, and this year lost friends unnecessarily to unsatisfactory treatment at the Lister.

I am appalled at the attitude of senior management when questioned about the findings. To say they must have caught us on a bad day is just not good enough when people's lives are at risk!

How on earth can we expect to eradicate things like MRSA when basic hygiene practices are blatantly ignored, let alone save lives.

The complaints system is an utter joke. Even when a complaint is made you receive a letter of apology, which is full of spelling mistakes and even gives the wrong hospital name, so that whoever is putting their signature to it is not even reading it, let alone taking on board the complaint.

I just hope that I never have to go there as a patient, the way things stand at the moment. Something has to be done and management are paid vast sums to sort the problems out but it is still not happening. Far too many mistakes are costing lives.

Many years ago hospitals were clean and safe, the matron was on the case all the time, one had faith in the doctors and always felt that you were getting the best treatment possible. Today is a totally different story, I and many others are worried about what will happen to us if we have to be admitted.


* Having read the letters in The Comet I am not surprised at the filthy conditions in Lister Hospital.

Having taken my wife to the hospital, I found that the cubicle that she was in for her initial diagnosis was in a disgusting state and the bed rail had blood or vomit on it and on calling the nurse she just wiped the said rail. As the main doors were open the fumes from the ambulances outside made us sick and we had to put hankies to our noses to quell the smell.

There was gauze with blood on it on the floor of the corridors and it was just left there. When my wife asked for a cup of tea she was told to make it herself in the nurse's kitchen in ward MAU. When she went there she was appalled at the dirty plates and food left on them and also a milk pan which had dried milk at the bottom of it. She took this and put it in the dirty sink and put some water in it so it had to be washed.

People have sadly died there from contracting MRSA and this does not surprise me at all. Surely you the media can go there incognito and take photographs of the filth and demand a public inquiry as to why the hospital is in such a state. It is no use them having an internal inquiry as they only sweep it under the carpet so to speak. All they do is apologise for the killing as that is what I call it. How many more loved ones have to die before something has been done, no one seems to care anymore.

NEVILLE HUDSON, Yardley, Jackmans Estate, Letchworth Garden City

* Regarding your front page article about our sick hospitals on September 28, I would say that I could not fault Lister Hospital on the cleanliness routines during my 10 day stay at the hospital.

What I would criticise is the policy which allows visitors to come in from outside, however attired, put carriers/plastic bags on the patients' beds, sit and even sprawl on beds.

Before the age of antibiotics this would never have been allowed. Now these antibiotics no longer have full effect, surely it is time to put the clock back and have a few rules for visitors.


* I write regarding your article in The Comet newspaper this week on our sick hospital.

I cannot believe this article was written just now, I have recently lost two members of my family to the gross incompetence (in my opinion) of the Lister. My father in April 2004 and my husband in May this year - he was 56 years old.

I was saying to my friends and colleagues that if I was to place a letter in The Comet asking people to write in about their dissatisfaction, I would be inundated with letters and now you have done it, well done!

The standard of care at the Lister in my experience is appalling. On the elderly care unit the poor patients are left calling for a commode for an eternity and in my father's case, having contracted Clostridium Difficil on the ward, it was too late which mortified my father and was degrading for him.

He, as most elderly people, did not drink water, only tea, but patients are only allowed tea at breakfast, dinner and tea and mid morning and afternoon. Although this sounds a lot, when you are on the ward all day with nothing to do, a nice cup of tea is the only thing to look forward to.

In the job I am in, I constantly hear of the deceased family being unhappy with the treatment they have or have not received. Something needs to be done regarding the appalling running and the East and North Herts NHS Trust. Too many people are dying without due care and treatment.