Is anybody there???

I have been trying to contact East Surrey Hospital on their main number for the last twenty minutes. I wished to speak to the Cardiology dept. to find out why I have not received a follow up appointment following a set of cardio tests over 5 weeks ago. As the departments extension is not shown on East Surrey website I have had to wait to speak to someone on the main switchboard. The phone just rings with no one answering and then after five minutes I get cut off.

I appreciate the pressures faced by the NHS, but surely we can have someone answering the phone.

Given up for today…. life is too short…… (hopefully not shorter than I think, but only the hospital can answer that!!)


Outpatient experiences

I first visited Barnet General`s ENO dept. for my hearing.

The department was extremely busy and full but I was seen more or less on time.

I was very pleased with all the treatment I received.

I was fitted with a hearing aid, again everything was done on time and I was impressed by the kindness of all staff who were working under pressure.

In March I was taken ill in the night and the emergency GP was called, paramedics also attended and I was taken by ambulance to Barnet General.

I was treated immediately upon arrival and again I cannot speak too highly of all the medical staff I saw then and during the rest of the day.

I have been back to the Cardiology Department since for several appointments.

Apart from the day when the Consultant did not turn up I have not had to wait to be seen and every person I have had contact with has been excellent.

On the one occasion when the Consultant was absent I saw another cardiologist who was `bussed in` from Chase Farm, they were working under great pressure but they were polite kind and professional throughout.

I have no complaints, only praise, for Barnet General Hospital and for all my dealings with the NHS.

I am 75yrs old and have had plenty of experiences of the NHS.


You saved my life

On Friday night the British NHS and the staff and facilities at St Peters Hospotal saved my life. One minute I thought I was going to die – the worst, most debilitating pain I have ever known exploding in my heart.

A few minutes later, after an emergency call from my wonderful wife, the first responder paramedics arrived, calmed me down, gave me reassurance and pain relief. Five minutes later the ambulance and 2 more paramedics came to take me in to hospital. My wife came with me to hold my hand. Yes it was a heart attack.

Whilst this was happening, a cardiology team of at least 6 highly trained staff was being called in. Whether they had been sleeping, eating a meal or watching a film, they dropped everything to assemble in the cardiology lab at St Peters Hospital. They were all there already to greet me off the ambulance with smiles, more reassurances and explanations as to what they were going to be doing.

An hour, one removed clot and three stents later I was in the ward having a cup of tea. The same consultant who came in to perform the operation on the Friday night was there on Saturday morning to talk me through what happened and what needs to happen next.

A few days observation and I can go home with an offer of ongoing complimentary physio, nutrition and lifestyle advice and counselling.

Thank you to all the staff who saved my life. From the people serving the tea and meals, to the cleaners who changed my bed each day, from the radiologers to the nurses, doctors and consultants. Who worked long hours over the Summer Bank Holiday weekend to keep me breathing.

Paul Couchman

Very good medical care at Northern General

Following a heart attack, I was a patient in the Cardiology department at the Northern General hospital earlier this year. The standard of medical care I received was very good – I was most impressed by the dedication and commitment of all medical staff. Without these people, I am convinced that I would not be alive today.

Thank you to all staff concerned.


I was treated with kindness

Due to cardiology problems I was admitted to the Morris ward at the QMC. I received coronary care for eight weeks there. The best things about my treatment was the kindness and consideration. I’d say all the staff from the kitchen, porters and medical etc always did their best for you. I was never made to feel a nuisance. I sometimes felt a bit bothered when meals came round and I kept refusing it. This could have been made better for me. I also had good help from the physio. I could sleep when I wanted too (often). During the time of my treatment, I had an angiogram and a stent. I was quite ill at one time, so I’m told due to heart failure. I also had a urine and chest infection.


Improving BP cuffs

I had a 24 hr BP monitor fitted recently and within a few hours had problems with the cuff twisting and overinflating on my arm.

This was at a high reading of BP so had to go to 250mm Hg. On twisting it caused the metal hinge to press very heavily on my inner arm and made the vein painful for hours. After returning to the hospital two more cuffs were tried before a decent one got a good reading.

That night, the pain on measurement on the original arm was bad -so I switched to the other arm in the night- this would have affected the readings ,as my arms were different relative readings.

The staff in the hospital were helpful and cheerful but they needed more resources to service the patient throughout, it seems, without having to use wrongly sized or worn gear.

This won’t cost the price of a manager !

*** One important aspect- my home BP monitor cuff has a similar velcro clamp mechanism – which works well but does have a firmer build. Why is the soft material type still in use when it causes pain and gives bad results when the material gets tired and slips along the metal hinge and then twists on inflating?

The cuff then balloons worryingly.

The stress and discomfort of these episodes are affected my readings badly , I reckon!


Thank you Chesterman suite, Cardiology – Northern General

The before and aftercare by all the staff and surgeons in the Chesterman suite in cardiology was excellent. Nothing could have been better at all, very professional, friendly and helpful, the only thing is they need to learn to put more milk in the coffee.

I would like to say a very big thank you to Dr Sara Brett who was thorough and her professionalism was able to keep me calm through my first ever operation.

Many thanks to all at Northern General from admissions to consultants, the best patient care in the country.


Thanks for great cardiology care

After several months I am coming to an end of my experience of care and would like to record my thanks to the cardiology rehab team (think I was the youngest in the group) The teams ability to adapt to each individual need to accept and enjoy the excercise was fantastic (so was the music!) The care includes a discount to local authority gym facilities following discharge to encourage futher exercise.

It worked for me

Thanks to all the team