Two Southend Hospital wards left with no hot water for more than a week

A patient has compared Southend Hospital to a “third world country” after being treated on a ward with no hot water.

Nurses on Paglesham and Benfleet wards, both specialist stroke wards, have resorted to heating water and filling jugs from the kitchens for patients to wash, it has been claimed.

The Mid and South Essex NHS Trust said a “recently installed new hot water system” has led to “water pressure issues” but it is being worked on.

A 73-year old patient, who asked not to be named, raised a series of concerns over the quality of food, lack of hot water, and inability to open windows on the ward as he compared the hospital to a “third world country”.

He said: “The whole week I haven’t had a hot wash at all, not even warm. The staff have had enough of it.

“They’re trying to do bed washes on people and they’re having to get hot water from the kitchen and carry it in jugs.

“People can’t have showers. The windows are taped up. It’s been stifling hot.”

According to the trust, the issue will be resolved as “quickly as possible” and a plan is in place to “minimise impact on patients”.

The patient added: “It felt like I was in a third world country. The food is disgusting. There must be so much thrown away. We complain about how much food supermarkets throw away but not the hospital.

“Money wasted. What once was a good product is now landfill and the amount of carbon produced. Prison food must be better than hospital food.”

Chris Howlett, senior director of estates and facilities at Mid and South Essex NHS Trust, said: “We recently installed a new hot water system and there are some water pressure issues affecting two wards.

“Estates staff are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible and our business continuity plan is helping minimise the impact on patient care.”

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter

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