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THE daughter of an elderly patient who caught the killer superbug MRSA in Coventry's Walsgrave Hospital has lambasted health chiefs for the "sickening" state of a ward.

Viv Crossland, 50, was so disgusted with the hospital's level of hygiene that she was forced to clean her father's four-bed bay each day for five weeks.

During one such clean-up she found a mouldy potato and says she regularly removed dried blood and urine.

Her father, 84-year-old John Peck, a retired Jaguar worker, now fears having to return to the hospital and says he felt like a "dirty pariah" towards the end of his stay on C2 East.

Mrs Crossland, a teaching assistant at Spon Gate Primary, is demanding an apology from Bryan Stoten, chairman of the hospital trust.

"You just don't expect conditions like this in this day and age," said Mrs Crossland, of Maplebank Close, Spon End, Coventry.

"I had no choice to clean it and the hospital staff were quite happy to let me. In fact they found it quite amusing.

"The whole place was just disgusting and we couldn't believe it when we found the furry potato.

"We have cried and we have been upset and angry but it just still astounds me that they can let an elderly patient live in such filth. There is no wonder he got MRSA."

Mr Peck, a great grandfather, said he was "shattered" when he found out he was MRSA positive and has suffered "great discomfort" since being discharged on March 5.

He said: "It has really knocked me for six. The hospital was never cleaned properly, it was disgusting.

"They would just flick over with a cloth and never seemed bothered. I was very shocked by how dirty it was.

"I know they are getting a new hospital soon but I didn't expect to have to stay in such dreadful conditions.

"I don't want to go back, I am very worried and it has really upset me."

Mr Peck's granddaughter, Lisa Crossland, 30, a tenant support officer for Orbit Housing, is booked in for a caesarean section next week at the Walsgrave.

She said: "I am really worried. I just want to be in and out as quick as possible. You just don't expect to go into hospital and come out with a condition as bad as that."

Martin Lee, medical director for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said the hospital took infection control and hand washing very seriously and its MRSA rate was lower than many large hospitals.

He said: "We have already undertaken a full review of the cleanliness of this ward.

"We recognise that the wards are outdated and so look tatty. Nevertheless, there are three domestics on this ward cleaning throughout the day and two in the early evening, and we will be looking at any other areas where improvements can be made to ensure cleanliness does not fall below the high standard we would expect."


D18888_1 FEARS: John Peck, who doesn't want to go back into hospital, and (below) with daughter Viv (left), and granddaughter Lisa. Pictures: JAMES BALFOUR D18888_4
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 5, 2004
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