Is Mayday washing its hands of proper patient care?

What is the connection between these two pictures?

Short answer is that they we both taken at “Croydon University” Hospital a couple of weeks ago.

A message sent by Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader to PALS – the Patient Advice and Liaison Service – in mid-March explains further:

“I had to visit someone in the hospital every day last week. Every day the hand gel dispensers prominently signed at the front entrance were empty. The dispensers outside the toilets near the broken escalators were empty for most of the week, apart from one which started working on the Thursday.

“Part of the ward I was visiting was closed due to a gastro-intestinal infection for part of the week. A yellow sign to that effect was prominently displayed in the lobby next to the hand gel dispensers, which were again empty for most of the week.

“What is going on?”

Three weeks on, and no reply has ever been received from PALS. The loyal reader returned to the hospital in the past week, and the gel dispensers were empty again.

Or not, as the case may be

The Mayday signals are being sent out from Croydon’s major hospital in a number of respects, with its A&E provision under review and a crisis among its senior management. Last week, the local MP, Malcolm Wicks, said that Mayday Hospital was “not fit for purpose”.

Wicks called on the members of the NHS Trust to consider their positions, after the chairman of the Trust and the hospital’s CEO both resigned with a few weeks. “This has been a failing hospital for a number of years,” Wicks said. “I think the existing board members need to ask themselves individually the serious question – can I be a part of this hospital’s future?”

It is easy to conclude that the recent ward closures and lack of hand gel at ward entrances are related; more troubling is the systemic failure to correct the situation.

Our loyal reader writes: “I am the last person to criticise NHS staff, they can only work with what they’ve got and cope astonishingly well all things considered.

“But I fear the widely reported management breakdown at the Mayday is endangering lives. If they can’t organise something as simple as topping up hand-gel dispensers what else is being neglected?

“Is it being purposefully run down so that the Tories can claim privatisation is the only solution? I fear that the proposed closure of the A&E (after all A&E departments don’t make money) is only the start of it.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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2 Responses to Is Mayday washing its hands of proper patient care?

  1. With a heavy heart I have to agree with Malcom Wicks MP that Croydon University Hospital is “not fit for purpose”

  2. catswiskas says:

    My Mum was in A & E just before Christmas. (A truly horrible experience). The hot tap ran cold in the sink of the department’s toilet. I often notice hot taps that run cold in this hospital. Three years ago, she caught C Diff after using the toilet in the isolation ward where my Dad was placed (before he died). (Incidentally, he was moved there because he had caught MRSA on a public ward). When we had expressed concerns about his uncovered wounds on that ward, the sister had assured us that there was ” no MRSA on my ward”. I could go on but it’s too depressing. I agree that there is something seriously wrong at this hospital.

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