More than a third of patients attending a Birmingham kidney dialysis centre have signed a petition claiming it is unhygienic and has a serious problem with flies.
Patients attending the Aston Cross Renal Unit on an industrial estate in Aston have called for a full investigation into the facility.
They claim that open drains behind beds attract flies, that there is no central heating or air conditioning and that there are no cleaning facilities for patients who soil themselves.
They each attend the unit three times a week, spending four hours at a time hooked up to a dialysis machine.
The centre is managed by German health firm Fresenius Medical Care on behalf of the University Hospital Trust, whose patients go there.
A petition was handed to Birmingham City Council and now the issue is being investigated both by the Trust and the council’s health scrutiny committee.
Patient representative Mike Burns, aged 64, who has been using the centre for three years, said: “It is a disgrace that in the modern NHS we have conditions like this.
Mr Burns, from Kingstanding, added: “I travel a lot and they have much better dialysis centres in other parts of the country and abroad.”
Hilda James, from Pype Hayes, raised the petition which was backed by 49 patients. She said: “The flies were a nuisance when you are there for four hours. We think its the drains at the back of the beds which attract them.
“We had to open fire doors in summer because it was so hot.”
She added that while the majority of users are out-patients, there are some hospital patients ferried to the unit by ambulance and the facilities for them are inadequate.
“There are no showers or proper cleaning facilities. If they soil themselves, they have to go back to hospital to get cleaned up,” she claimed.
Her local councillor Lynda Clinton (Lab, Tyburn) handed the petition to the city council and now the council’s health scrutiny committee is looking into the situation.
Fresenius, whose UK headquarters is in Nottinghamshire, said it would liaise with the hospital.
University Hospital Trust said initial findings of a full internal investigation ‘‘have shown that a number of the comments made are unsubstantiated.
“The trust has not received any formal complaints directly about the service and there has been no concerns reported by any of the clinicians at Aston Cross.’’