Patient’s shock at sewage in hospital

Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital
Picture by Jane Coltman
Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital Picture by Jane Coltman

A patient has hit out at Northumberland’s newest hospital after her bathroom turned into a ‘pigsty’ after flooding with sewage.

Anita Robertson was treated at the multi-million pound Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington on September 8, after being transferred from Hexham.

The mess and sewage left in the en-suite bathroom at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

The mess and sewage left in the en-suite bathroom at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

But the 45-year-old was left shocked after her en-suite shower flooded due to a blocked drain.

After raising the issue with staff, she was denied a transfer to another room.

And Mrs Robertson, who believes she contracted c-difficile as a result, has made a formal complaint to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Mrs Robertson, of Carlisle, said: “After showering, I found that my room was flooded due to a blocked drain and slipped and fell before I could call for help.

“The maintenance staff confirmed the foul-smelling flood was caused by the shower and toilet sharing a drain.

“Nursing staff refused my requests to be allowed to change room and instead made me stay there through the whole disgusting clean-up operation.

“At one point, there was so much brown stuff in the room it looked like a pigsty.

“After the clean-up was finally finished, I asked to speak to the ward manager and she didn’t even know that I had fallen, telling me that she had 20 incidents a day to investigate on her ward and she’d get around to it eventually.”

She added: “It was no surprise to me that within a couple of days of this, I was very ill and had to be admitted to Cumberland Infirmary and put in isolation under infection control conditions.”

Dr Eliot Sykes, business unit director for emergency surgery and elective care at the trust, said: “This isolated incident was totally unacceptable and we quickly moved to rectify the situation.

“Unfortunately, the ward was extremely busy and there were no other available patient rooms at the time.

“We fully accept, however, that Mrs Robertson should have been given the option to sit away from the room while we fixed the problem.”

“We have thoroughly investigated Mrs Robertson’s complaint and have learned some valuable lessons which have been shared with our teams.

“Infection prevention and control is always one of our highest priorities and we have extremely low infection rates in our hospitals.

“It is unlikely that Mrs Robertson’s development of c-difficile infection was linked in any way to the drainage issue.”