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Where have all the pillows gone?

  • Comments (32)

That is the question I have been asking myself.

Why is it there are never enough pillows for patients’ comfort? When I worked on the wards it was a persistent problem and now as a hospital visitor I find things are no better.  In this age of high-tech health care it seems we are unable to provide the basic kit to look after patients. It is difficult to make the elderly and frail comfortable with insufficient pillows. You need them to help support a patient or one of their limbs in an optimum position.

Recently I took in an extra pillow for a relative who was on a ward where the nurses said there was a shortage of pillows. On my next visit I found that one of the hospital pillows had subsequently been removed to leave us with the same number that we started with.

A patient at a hospital in Gloucestershire made it into the local paper with his tale of being in hospital and daring to ask for a second pillow. He was  told the hospital was short of pillows. In fact he was told it was short of everything including nurses. He suggests that soon  ‘a pillow’ will be on the list of things to bring into hospital when admitted.

Apart from the issue of patient comfort, looking for basic equipment is a common waste of nurses’ time that has been highlighted in productive ward programmes. Blankets are often used as makeshift pillows in the absence of the real thing, which of course only produces another question. Where have all the blankets gone?

So on reflection the question I should probably be asking is not ‘Where have all the pillows gone?’ but ‘Why were there not enough to start with?’. Those responsible for ordering equipment need to make sure that for patient comfort and to save nurses’ time that there  are sufficient pillows for nurses to do their job. It’s not too much to ask.

  • Comments (32)

Readers' comments (32)

  • Perhaps the patients are eating them as we know now that all nurses no longer feed their patients at meal times!

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  • Anonymous

    there was an article in DT a while back about the questionable hygiene of hospital pillows. Could this be linked to the shortage? Maybe a subject for further studies?

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  • I would like to know what happened to my pay, my pension and my colleagues (there are so few of us left). Perhaps the pillows have been taken by the same bad people?

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  • Anonymous

    pillow fights with management?

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  • Anonymous

    although buns, eggs, custard pies and shaving foam are considered better weapons by many!

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  • Anonymous

    You too. I thought it was just me and thinking that I was not looking in the right places

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  • Anonymous

    I strongly suspect they are being sold off by the Government to help reduce the deficit.

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  • Anonymous

    Maybe all us lazy and incompetent nurses are hiding them under the sheets pretending they are sleeping patients.

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  • Anonymous

    Brits seem to have rather an odd affinity to feathers. read recently in the guide book of Alpine ski resort - the British bought skiing and tourism to the Alps but when the weather was bad they upset the hoteliers by having pillow fights and then emptying all the feathers out of them and the duvets, distributing them down the staircases and then attempting to ski down them!

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  • Anonymous

    Perhaps we should substitute the word 'pillow' for the word 'nurse'.

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