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Hospsital denies cleanliness claims Continued

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– and it was then that he re- alised the state of the toilets. “This was just

as disturbing. I had noticed that an extension seat for the toilet and shower was plas- tered with excre- ment on my first visit to the loo, and now, two nights and a day later, it was still there. And they wonder why patients come away with stomach problems.” What he described as “my horrific stay in hospi-

Ian Collins and wife Teressa

tal” ended in the “departure lounge” where he spoke to another patient waiting to leave. “He had a similar tale to tell. I don’t think this was an iso- lated incident. I believe this happens on a regular basis.” Mr Collins also criticised communication. It was

two weeks after the operation before he received posted instructions about physiotherapy, yet he was told he should have started exercises the day after surgery. “That put me back a fortnight,” said Mr Collins, who has returned to work as a hotel receptionist. The couple are considering legal

action against the hospital and are urging others who have had similar experiences to come forward. “The hospital needs tomake sub- stantial changes. There has just been a review and it came out of it better rated. But I just can’t under- stand. They don’t see it from a pa- tient’s point of view,” he added.

Last Post for Reavills!

AN NHS Trust spokesman said standards of hygiene and cleanli- ness are taken “extremely seri- ously” at Maidstone Hospital. “All of our wards have their own dedicated domestic staff and toi- lets are regularly cleaned through- out the day. “We also have extra on-call cleaners in the hospital 24/7 who can be called upon day or night.” He added: “By their very nature,

WCs can require cleaning soon after their last use and while we regularly monitor cleanliness, we also ask patients to draw anything amiss to our staff’s attention. “All areas of our wards, includ-

ing beds and bedside tables, are subject to stringent cleaning. Our infection rates are very low as a re- sult.”

During June, the Trust asked

more than 40 patients for their opinions of ward cleanliness (on CCU and Cornwallis wards) and 95% said they were satisfied with the standards. The spokesman said: “We will

look into Mr Collins’ concerns, which we take very seriously.”

A CARE UK spokesman said there was nomen- tion of Mr Collins’s allergy to morphine in his notes while he was in the Mid Kent Treatment Centre, which is on the same site as Maidstone Hospital. She also denied that staff had “man- handled” Mr Collins in the operating theatre, as he had suggested. She questioned how he could have known that as hewas coming out of anaes- thetic.

MARGARET Reavill has served her last Post Office customer after more than 40 years behind the counter. Recently, a big retirement send-off was

held for her and husband Terry, who ran the RoyalMail side of the business in Yald- ing for 19 years. Margaret, who lives in Benover

Road, said: “I first started in the village as a relief for Don Acott, who had been there a long time. Then I worked for Peter Smith for three years and after that I was here in my own right as sub postmistress – for nearly 17 years.” Before Yalding, Margaret was at Water- ingbury and, prior to that, at Teston, where her father, Leslie Phillips, had the shop and Post Office. In all, she has been an agent for the Post Office since the age of 17. “Yes, I will miss the customers, especially

Terry andMargaret Reav- ill outside Yalding Post Office

the older ones who I have grown up with. Some have moved away or gone into retire- ment homes butwe still keep in touch with Christmas and Easter cards,” said Margaret, who has handed over the job to ex-fireman Tim Chapman. She and Terry have offered to help Timat busy times but they are look- ing forward to retirement and seeing more of their grandchil- dren. They al- ready have two in Shropshire, and their third – daughter Mary’s first baby – is due this month.

4 South

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