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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Patient's dossier on 'dirty' ward
Professor Clare Wenger (picture www.dailypost.co.uk)
Prof Clare Wenger said she found the situation "heartbreaking"
A retired university professor has written a 4,700-word dossier criticising the dirty conditions she claims she found at her local hospital.

Clare Wenger, 71, from Flintshire, said she found herself cleaning blood and urine from toilets while a patient at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodwelwyddan.

She has sent her report, containing other serious claims, to assembly members and medical professionals.

A hospital spokeswoman apologised and said Prof Wenger would be contacted.

Prof Wenger, from Gwaenysgor, was admitted to hospital on 1 October after suffering rectal bleeding, and stayed there until 7 October.

She claims there was no obvious place for staff or visitors to wash their hands, despite fears over infections like MRSA and C Difficile.

We assume that the NHS hospital will be there when we need it...we also assume that we will receive a high standard of care
Professor Clare Wenger

There appeared to be just four dirty lavatories for a mixed ward of 36 patients, and the shower cubicle was dirty and broken, she said.

Prof Wenger also claimed there was no extra bedding on the ward when she felt cold.

She added: "In most instances, I needed to clean the lavatory seat before I felt I could use it.

"The seat more often than not showed evidence of urine or faeces, occasionally blood.

"I did it myself because often I could not wait for someone to come and clean it for me.

"There was often urine on the floor, sometimes starting to crystallise as it dried.

"Often I did not ask for help because it was clear that nurses were under stress to get everything done and often there was no nurse around."

Ysbyty Glan Clwyd
The NHS Trust said it would be "responding" to Prof Wenger

The professor - an expert in gerontology, the study of ageing - said she was so distressed she asked to be discharged.

She added: "They told me they wanted me to go 48 hours without bleeding before I could go, but I negotiated them down to 24 hours, because I was so keen to leave."

She faces further exploratory tests next week as an outpatient, but said she would "resist" any calls to re-admit her.

She said she was not out to criticise individuals, but added: "I find it heartbreaking that a national health service of which the UK was once so proud, has reached such a parlous standard.

"We assume that the NHS hospital will be there when we need it and in the UK - one of the richest countries in the world - we also assume that we will receive a high standard of care."

Prof Wenger said she was encouraged by a senior medical professional to compile a report and "circulate it as widely as possible".

She has sent a copy to all 60 AMs but says she has received a reply from just one.

Limited facilities

In a statement, the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust said it was "sorry that we have not met Mrs Wenger's expectations and will be responding to her in detail to the specific issues she raises."

The trust said ward five was a 30-bed surgical ward specialising in the "complex and challenging" care of patients with bowel problems.

It added said facilities on the ward were "limited for this type of patient", but added that plans for a major upgrade at the hospital would address some of Prof Wenger's concerns.

The trust said staff worked hard to keep the ward clean, but they asked patients to raise concerns so they could be dealt with immediately.

Gren Kershaw, chief executive said: "The trust is continually monitoring cleanliness and is not complacent about infection control. We are always looking to improve our care to patients."

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