Bored patients complain about lack of TVs at Vic
BORED patients have been left staring at the walls at Victoria Hospital because of a lack of TVs.
Two West Fifers contacted the Press this week to complain about the situation, which they believe could affect recovery times.
Now NHS Fife has pledged to install bedhead TVs into the Kirkcaldy hospital's new wing as a "priority".
Brian Pirnham (75), of Mitchell Walk in Rosyth, was admitted to the hospital on 30th April for treatment for a lung disease.
He said, "The conditions in that so-called ward! You can't even have a bit of music in your earphones and there was television. It's just silence.
"You'd have to go through it to believe it. It was like going back to the 1900s."
He also complained that windows could not be opened and said a nurse told him his ward was normally a storeroom.
Mr Pirnham, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, added, "I was taken to a ward and there were no blankets on the bed - people had dressing gowns or jackets on the bed.
"I was amazed when I saw people with their coats on them."
Hazel Allison (63), from Cochrane Avenue in Inverkeithing, was admitted to the coronary care unit at the Vic in January after suffering a heart attack and cardiac arrest.
She described her experience as "soul-destroying".
She said, "As for the rooms they are totally soul-destroying as there are no TVs or radios ... you have to sit 24/7 and look at four walls, which doesn't aid your recovery.
"Something needs to be done and quick because as far as I know this is the hospital's policy and it isn't good enough."
Caroline Inwood, director of nursing for the operational division, said, "NHS Fife appreciates that a stay in hospital can be a frustrating time for some patients and it can be difficult for them to stay occupied.
"We have been carrying out a consultation process which included identifying what would be the best television system for the hospital and speaking to staff on the different wards to ensure that televisions would be placed in the most appropriate and beneficial areas for patients."
All day rooms at the hospital have been fitted with new wide-screen televisions.
The children's ward, maternity, diagnostic suite and A&E are using existing televisions and some new ones have been fitted.
Ms Inwood continued, "The installation of bedhead televisions into the new wing at Victoria Hospital is due to commence shortly and should be completed by mid-July.
"Priority has been given to place televisions in rooms for patients who require isolation during their stay and patients who are attending for treatments that require them to be in the same place for long periods, for example, renal dialysis."
She also said two shops in the hospital sold newspapers, magazines and books to help keep patients and visitors occupied, while trolleys of items from the shops visit wards regularly.
Responding to Mr Pirnham's complaint about a lack of blankets for patients, she finished, "All wards are fully equipped with enough pillows and blankets for patients.
"If any patient ever feels cold or any way uncomfortable during their stay we would ask that they let staff know so that issues can be addressed quickly.
"Our patient relations department has not been contacted in relation to these issues and we would encourage all patients to make contact with us at the time of their stay in order that issues can be addressed."
Patients in the Victoria Hospital's new wing are unable to open the windows because of 'modification' work.
Ms Inwood said, "All windows currently comply with appropriate British standards, however, some of the windows in the new wing are undergoing modification by Consort and Balfour Beatty Workplace which means they will remain in the permanently closed position until NHS Fife is fully satisfied that this modification is complete.
"Rooms in the new wing allow patients to have some control over their own surroundings as they are fitted with a thermostat that will allow the occupant to adjust the heating levels within parameters that are appropriate for the particular clinical environment."
Work on the windows is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
May 11, 09:09
While I sympathise with anyone who has to spend an extended time in hospital, I can't for the life of me understand why a TV is seen so often as the only solution for alleviating boredom?!?
Better - if one is able - to pick up a book and indulge in something a little more engaging and brain nurturing. Therein however, perhaps lies the problem. Reading is an 'activity' whereas watching TV is passive and requires no thought, and it is this which better suits the lazy, spoon-fed society that we've become. So sad :(
Recommend? Yes 36 No 6
May 11, 10:39
May 11, 13:28
From reading this article the thing that most concerns me is not the lack of TV's but that a storeroom was being used as a ward and there were no blankets! Surely that is more of a headline?!
Recommend? Yes 37 No 1
May 12, 23:19
Wow. I wonder how the human race managed to get along before TV was invented !
Read a book or something, use your imagination. What do you want, spoonfed ?
Take responsibility for your own happiness. Stop waiting or others to supply it for you.
Recommend? Yes 19 No 7
May 14, 01:57
hope to god you are never stuck in a place where your family have to travel a distance to see you and being a victim of a stroke brain active but limbs usless and lying looking at ceiling ,that to me would be HELL
Recommend? Yes 12 No 8
May 14, 16:25
I was recently in the Victoria Hospital for two weeks and would not have expected a TV to be in my room! Can understand people wanting to alleviate boredom - I used books (well, Kindle) and a mini DVD player that my husband bought me! Would not expect the NHS to provide my 'entertainment' while they are helping me recover - far as I'm concerned, that isn't their job?!
I am only 31 years old, so I do understand the frustrations of being stuck in hospital, in a bed surrounded by 4 walls for a length of time. I was only allowed outside once, for 15 mins, in the two weeks I was there, and it during the nicest two weeks of weather we've had so far this year! But I cannot understand people demanding there are tv's in a room - I would rather the NHS spend money on more important things! Like research and treatment!
Recommend? Yes 22 No 4
May 14, 18:13
May 17, 17:46
i wasnt amused with the victoria hospital i was apatient for a week in the hospital and hope i never go back in yes there is no telly so my partner luckily brought a dvd player so lucky i could watch some dvds only to be told the day i was discharged that the tell room was literally at the back of my room and the whole time i hadnt even been told
regarding the hospital i was stuck in a room for 2 days with no window that would open and the air conditioning didnt even work and to witness when i was moved upstairs a patient left at the nurses station for half an hr for a nurse on the ward to say where did u come from as the nurses that brought her to the ward left her notes on the patients chest and left her there .
i how ever can see that my heart gos out to the evening staff in my ward that where so busy and these nurses the two of them deserve a pay rise while the nurses during the day where absolutely a disgrace to even be called nurses #
Recommend? Yes 3 No 2
May 17, 19:22
May 18, 10:20
May 18, 14:04
xcuse me nhs is free is it? if so can i have me monthly contribution back please that is for the last 50 years I have ben working!!! T.V. in hospital huh! rather have treatment in Queen Margaret!!
Recommend? Yes 1 No 2
May 18, 15:48
May 18, 19:53
May 19, 02:05
May 20, 01:37
May 20, 10:23
Maybe one of the "two patients" could have 'phoned a friend and got a couple of books bought in ???? or is that sort of thinking part of the recovery process.
Is this sort of whining really worthy of being reported.
Recommend? Yes 4 No 0
May 21, 16:00