Went to visit my partner in Southampton General last night and have to say it seems much improved. They have some people called the extra care team now who help and support people with extra needs. Including talking to them if they have no one else to talk to and checking that they"re being given food and it’s actually being given to them. They are also more than willing to take on all the non-medical problems and sort them out or at least try to. They did mention they are a very small team and it’s a big hospital. The nurse in charge was also wearing an armband that made it easy to identify him and making himself available to answer questions. It might just be this one ward but I think my partner has been on the same ward before and it wasn’t like this. There were still problems and lots of complaints but they were being heard and at least trying to deal with them. The catering staff were wearing hairnets and someone was making sure that meals were kept warm and given to the patients when they were able to eat them. They were also proactive in offering to feed him, not assuming I would and the protected mealtimes no longer require visitors to leave.
Even the freephone taxi drivers come and get you from an indoor seating area instead of having to wait by the door and guess which one is yours - actually better than other hospitals where you have to find your way through the drunks in A&E (or is that ED in the UK nowadays) on Saturday nights to get to the taxis. Not that all drunks are bad. I’ve been in A&E waiting rooms where the friendly drunks have been the best support I could have had, especially in London where no one sober will initiate a conversation!