‘I waited five hours for a cup of tea in hospital’

A patient says he had to wait hours for a cup of tea at Queen Alexandra Hospital
A patient says he had to wait hours for a cup of tea at Queen Alexandra Hospital
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A PATIENT has criticised Queen Alexandra Hospital for making him wait hours for a drink after a throat operation.

The man - who wishes to be known only as Mike - came round after major surgery and found he was unable to drink the cold water provided by staff at the Cosham hospital.

He says he and other patients repeatedly asked for a hot drink - but he had to wait five-and-a-half hours before he was given one.

Mike added that he was told this was because nurses did not have access to the kitchen during the day and all catering was provided by an outside contractor.

‘It was just a real strange situation,’ he said.

‘I came round from my operation with the curtains round me and I was incredibly thirsty and I rang the buzzer and asked for a warm drink.

‘There was no water at the bedside at that stage.

‘Eventually they brought me some water but I was gagging on it because it was painful, it was too cold for my throat.

‘According to everyone else on the ward, between us we made 19 requests to get a hot drink.

‘There were three other people on the ward with me and they were asking for me because they knew I was so desperate.

‘The nurses said “we’ll get you one shortly” and nothing happened. And this kept happening.

‘Then it was “you’ll have to wait for the tea round” just all sorts of responses like that.

‘It was like that continually - you’ll have to wait.

‘I took the situation to the patient advice people when I’d been released.’

Mike added: ‘I think they need to get a hold of their contractors and manage their contracts properly, because it’s not just this that’s an issue.

‘The nursing staff are overwhelmed and the whole hospital management of contractors and systems is so bureaucratic and top heavy that it’s stopping the nursing staff and the medical staff doing their jobs properly.’

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS trust said the explanation Mike was given - that nurses are not able to access the kitchen - was not correct.

She said: ‘Patient care and experience are and will always remain the highest priorities for the trust.

‘Feedback about the care received is treated very seriously. Any formal complaint to the trust’s patient and customer services team is fully investigated by us, and in full collaboration with our delivery partners, in line with our trust policy.

‘We are very concerned to hear about this patient’s experience. We would like to confirm this is not something which comes up as a regular complaint.

‘We have provision for drinks on the wards 24 hours every day. If patients are concerned about any element of their care, please get in contact with us so we can investigate on their behalf.’