Peterborough City Hospital’s heating problems force elderly Fenland woman to wear gloves and coat during treatment

AN ELDERLY woman from March claims she has been forced to have treatment while wearing gloves and a coat in order to beat freezing conditions at Peterborough’s new hospital.

Maria Saporito, who suffers from kidney failure, has to visit Peterborough City Hospital three times a week in order to have dialysis treatment.

But the 76-year-old says she spends hours lying on the bed in freezing conditions due to heating problems on the 16-bed, ground-floor ward.

Mrs Saporito, who has been complaining about the problems since before Christmas, said: “I dread going because it’s so cold. I have to wear my hat, gloves, two cardigans, a blanket and two pairs of socks.

“I’m not allowed any hot water bottles. The electric blanket has to be checked by an electrician and they never come round so I don’t take that. I’ve had cold after cold and I’m sure it doesn’t help me going there.”

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The 612-bed hospital, which opened in November, is a �289 million development.

Mrs Saporito says she alerted the patient liaison service to the heating problem on five different occasions. She has also raised the issue with MP for NE Cambs Steve Barclay.

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A hospital spokesman said that they had received reports of cold temperatures in the haemodialysis unit in early December.

The spokesman said: “This was due to the fact that the building is new and operates a climate control temperature system.

“Climate controlled buildings sometimes require time to adjust when equipment and people enter the area and short-term fluctuations in temperature can occur.

“After patients and staff reported being cold in the unit the thermostat was manually adjusted to the correct temperature at the earliest available opportunity.

“The Trust apologises for any discomfort caused during the short period of time that the temperature was lower than it should have been. Thermostats are monitored regularly throughout the Trust to prevent problems arising.”

In a January newsletter sent to patients, the Haemodialysis Unit said that the heating had been a “big problem” but temperatures were being “monitored”.

Mrs Saporito, who has been suffering from bronchitis for the last seven weeks, said: “I’m angry. These are people who are ill and nothing is being done. It’s terrible and it’s just not good enough. It’s horrible having this treatment anyway but this is making it even worse.

“One of the doctors said I was having my blood changed and that it would make me feel colder. But surely that is all the more reason to keep the ward warm?

“I don’t feel like I’m being looked after properly. It’s not fair.”

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