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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Row over hospital's 'emergency tambourine'

A hospital has apologised after asking elderly patients to use a tambourine instead of a buzzer to attract attention.

The tambourine was put in a day room at Cardiff Royal Infirmary after elderly patients feared it was too far for nurses to hear any cries for help.

"It is ridiculous. These people are pensioners not members of the Monkees or Mick Jagger," said one resident.

"Where is the dignity in asking old and frail people to bash on a tambourine if they are in trouble? It makes the NHS look like a laughing stock."

He claimed that earlier there was a pair of maracas in the day room for patients to use - in case the tambourine was broken.

Patients in the hospital's West Wing complained they were "too scared" to use the day room in case staff do not hear their calls for help.

The hospital is well-known for its long corridors and has even been used to film episodes of TV's Dr Who.

Steve Allen, chief officer of Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Community Health Council, said: "This is totally inappropriate.

"Patients shouldn' t have to resort to shaking a tambourine to get a nurse's assistance."

Ruth Walker, executive director of nursing for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, apologised for the tambourine - and said a new emergency bell will be installed

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