St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust - Whiston Hospital Ward Visits

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Halton, Healthwatch Knowsley and Healthwatch St Helens each cover Whiston Hospital and carry out regular monthly outreach sessions at the Trust to gather the views of patients and visitors. To gain further insight on the experiences of patients at the hospital they approached the Trust with a request to visit and view the day to day running of wards and to gather the views of patients and visitors. On 14 May 2019, volunteers and staff from Healthwatch Halton, Healthwatch Knowsley and Healthwatch St Helens visited Whiston Hospital to visit a number of wards. During the visit they spoke with a total of 43 patients and visitors.

The Maternity wards and clinics of Whiston Hospital were bright, clean and welcoming areas. The patient and visitors talked to were happy overall with the care they were receiving. They gave positive comments about the Midwives but did mention how busy they are, especially during the night.

Ward 2D is a busy general ward. The ward was clean and clutter free with good signage to facilities. Patients and visitors were generally satisfied with the care received; however, several issues were raised at the time of the visit. Lack of communication between staff and patients was highlighted as well as the use of a treatment room as a bed, which has led to a possible formal complaint. Staff being very busy also meant patients can find it hard to get prompt access to water and extra pillows when needed.

Ward 1A provides treatment and care for older people with complex long-term health condition. It is a clean and tidy ward which had a calm and relaxing feel to it during the visit. Patients were positive in their feedback about the ward and appreciated the efforts of the staff. Patients felt the staff appeared to be over stretched at times.

Ward 3A (plastic surgery) was clean and welcoming. Healthwatch noted that staff carried out their work in a professional, relaxed and caring way during our visit. Patients felt that the care they received from staff was very good.

Ward 3D (gastroenterology) was tidy and clutter free. The ward appeared very busy but well organised during the visit. Healthwatch noted that staff were pleasant, smiling and helpful when dealing with patients. Patients commented positively on the staff but also highlighted that they appeared very busy, which led to patients waiting for attention. During the visit Healthwatch noted that call bells were not always answered promptly.

Discharge lounge - Healthwatch spoke with 2 patients on the Discharge Lounge. Both patients felt that they had been treated with dignity and respect by staff at the hospital.

There were some comments about the need to improve wheelchair accessibility.


  1. Supply information on Healthwatch for patients and visitors to ensure people know how to feedback and get local information and support with complaints if necessary.
  2. Offer information leaflets on services for all areas who use Whiston Hospital.
  3. Maternity - Review staffing levels during night shifts to ensure the care is equal to that given during the day.
  4. Ward 2D - Keep patients up to date with what is happening in their care and why. Ask patients if they have any questions.
  5. Ward 2D - Ensure the treatment room is used appropriately with drinks supplied.
  6. Ward 2D - Ensure drinks are always readily available to all patients.
  7. Ward 1A – Check toilets on the ward to see if the addition of further grab rails would benefit some patients.
  8. Ward 1A –It is important that communication between staff and relatives works consistently well. Requests for information by families should be responded to in a timely manner.
  9. Ward 3D – Ensure that call buttons are responded to in a timely manner
  10. Ensure clear signage is used on rooms that are out of bounds to patients / visitors.
  11. Consider carrying out a further audit to ensure all necessary areas are wheelchair accessible.

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General details

Report title 
St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust - Whiston Hospital Ward Visits
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Halton
Healthwatch Knowsley
Healthwatch St Helens
Date of publication 
Thursday, 3 October, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 14 May, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 14 May, 2019
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Food and nutrition
Quality of care
Quality of catering
Quality of staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Discharge lounge
General surgery

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Types of long term conditions 
Another long-term condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
New mothers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.