Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 11:41 UK

Complaints at noisy hospital work

Managers at a Leicester hospital have been accused of losing touch following complaints that building work disturbed patients recovering from surgery.

Some patients and visitors at the Leicester General said noise, dust and disruption had caused distress.

A patients' group said the authorities had lost sight of current patient needs while planning future improvements.

The hospital apologised for any problems, but said the situation was constantly monitored.

You have to make the hospital better - but there has to be better ways of doing it
Zuffar Haq, chair of Leicester City Local Involvement Network

Work on new en-suite bays at Leicester General began in May but some patients said they had been unable to sleep and had been disturbed by workmen.

Zuffar Haq is chair of the Leicester City Local Involvement Network, which represents patients. He said most hospitals would simply shut down the affected ward.

"I think management have lost touch with what patients actually want," said Mr Haq.

"I think the PCTs and the government have short-changed this hospital for so long, now they are having to make the repairs and they simply do not have enough beds to move patients around."

He added: "You have to make the hospital better - but there has to be better ways of doing it."

Julia Bell, head of nursing on the surgical ward at the hospital, said: "The matrons have a very high presence on the ward in question and the ward sisters do regular rounds.

"I feel the majority of patients would be able to say if they feel distressed.

"Work does cease during meal times, but we take on board all comments and will look at increasing the time for meal breaks and there have been some valid points raised that we will consider when doing future work.

"But I do believe the work we are doing will provide a much better service for patients."

Work is due to finish by the end of June.

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