Thank you for taking good care of my daughter

My wife and I want to express our gratitude for the kindness and professionalism of all the staff at Eastman Dental Hospital and UCLH who have cared for our 3-year-old daughter over the past couple of months.

In both cases great effort was made to help her feel comfortable and happy in what otherwise might have been a stressful and intimidating environment. At all stages we were given clear explanations of what was happening and why: we did not feel rushed or pressured into any decisions.

Throughout this experience we have been treated in a dignified and compassionate way. A superlative service which deserves to be celebrated.


Nurses at Walton Hospital were excellent

I went to Walton Hospital to have my eyes checked as I was going blind in one eye. The nurse gave me an injection in the eye. I was not able to read or write. The doctors and the nurses were fantastic and worked hard to make me feel comfortable. They were available for me to ask questions at any given time. One of the nurses arranged transport for me and my carer to go to the hospital as I now need to go for another visit.


Understanding, supportive and non-judgemental staff just when you need them

I attended the Pregnancy Advisory Service at Rotherham General Hospital for a termination. For obvious reasons, I was worried and there were very few people in my life that I felt I could talk to about it.

The staff were amazing, so understanding, supportive and non-judgemental. They were great listeners and they spent a lot of time with me making sure I understood the procedure and felt comfortable. I was so impressed.

When you make the decision to terminate a pregnancy, you really need to know you’ll be cared for through it. I was, and I am so grateful.


Labour experience at St Thomas hospital

I was treated very well with the exception of a couple of people who I saw. When I went for my 12 week scan, I saw a sonographer – I can’t remember what she said to me but I didn’t like the way she was towards me or her attitude. When I went for my 20 week scan, I remembered I had a bad experience during my 12 week scan so I came prepared and took note of my sonographers name. She was so rude – because of her, I started missing all my hospital and GP appointments as I felt very uncomfortable. When I went in, she didn’t even say hello or give me any eye contact – she just told me to get on the bed. She didn’t let me see the scan of my baby until towards the end. When I told her I couldn’t see, she just ignored me. She didn’t even explain what she was doing or measuring or anything. My partner asked her if we could know the sex of the baby and she just looked at him and ignored him.

She then told me to walk around because the baby was in an awkward position. I told my partner to help me up as I was feeling faint and she started shouting at me. She said, “Can the two of you stop talking and do as I say? It’s after 4pm and I don’t know about the two of you, but I want to go home. So can you hurry up?” I was shocked and upset and sick. I wanted to walk out but my partner convinced me to stay.

Before we left, she asked us if we wanted any pictures and I said “yes please”. I don’t think she heard me say ‘please’ because she said “Yes what?!” My partner repeated what I said. I felt as though I was having to beg for a photo with the way she was talking to me.

When we were going to pay for the photo, she demanded the money form us and because my partner had gel on hid right hand, he gave her the money from his left. She gave him a dirty look and said “I don’t want the money from your left hand, I want it form your right” I thought her behaviour and attitude was very rude, unprofessional and uncalled for. A lady like that should not interact with sensitive patients like myself in that manner. If I had the time, energy and confidence then, I would have immediately made a complaint.

Also, while I was asleep, my contractions started at 4am. By 9am, they were every 5 minutes so I made my way down to the hospital. When I got there, as there were a few people in front of me, I did not get seen until 4pm. By then I was in so much pain but I tried to keep myself under control as I was previously suffering from panic attacks.

When I did see someone I was upset because she said, “There are a lot of people waiting to be seen and, no offence, you don’t look like you’re in pain so I’m going to send you home.” I was so disappointed it brought tears to my eyes and the pain felt worse. I had travelled two hours on a bus just to get sent back without even being examined. Not only that, I was on my own and I had never been to an antenatal class as the hospital did not contact me for any classes.

She was about to discharge me when a doctor came and told her to examine me before I left. I felt dizzy and started to throw up. When she examined me, a doctor came back and told me that I was a few centimetres dilated and I would not be going home.

After that, the treatment I got was fantastic. I fell asleep and was comfortable.

In the evening I was transferred to a night nurse. Although she was quite nice to me, she was very rough and heavy handed – I felt more pain every time she touched me than I did when I felt a contraction. When I told my partner, he said that he could see that.

I also did not like the way she was getting angry and frustrated with me during the delivery. I did not know what I was doing and she kept telling me to do what I practised in the antenatal classes. I told her many times that I have never been to an antenatal class and I could she that she was getting annoyed.

In the end, when she gave me the baby, I saw he had a big dent in his head. My partner told me the midwife did not wait for me to push the baby out (she dragged him out) and that the dent was from her finger print. That also showed me that she was heavy handed and I wasn’t just imagining things.

After that, the care and treatment I got was so amazing I don’t think it could have got any better. I would also like to mention the care I received from the trainee midwife, as this was so fantastic.


Thanks to all at BMI Thornbury

My problem started in May 2008. A visit to my local surgery diagnosed a hernia.

Five months later when more pain was evident, I was referred to the Hallamshire Hospital, under Mr Thomas. He advised a hernia repair was necessary, and an appointment made for a pre-assessment visit.

Due to a backlog, I was offered a place in Thornbury Hospital which was arranged for 20 Feb 2009. The operation was carried out and now recovery is under way. I was made to feel comfortable and at ease, as this was my first taste of an operation under aneasthetic and I would like to thank all concerned, and hopefully will be back to normal shortly.

Harry the hernia

Left with negative memories

Pre-Assessment: All the various pre-assessment tests and interviews and the interview with the surgeon (Mr A Windsor) were excellent and gave a great deal of confidence to my wife and myself prior to surgery as a result of a rectal tumour.

Day 0: Admission and Operation Day

The admission to surgery and pre-surgery interviews were excellent. As I came round the aura of professionalism and care gave me confidence that I was in good hands and this continued when I was taken into the Critical Care Unit (CCU).

Day 1

My care in the CCU continued to be excellent day and night. I realised that, as I was able to pass wind and that I had virtually no pain, the surgery had been absolutely first rate. I was tested for the effectiveness of the epidural and it seemed to be near 100% effective and I was able to sit in my chair for one hour.

I was taken from the CCU onto a standard ward during the afternoon. On arrival I was still fairly groggy as I was wheeled into this new strange environment. Very shortly after arrival the sister was beside my bed shouting (as it seemed to me) that everything must be tidy, then she tried to fix my epidural onto a mobile stand and on failing to do so and seemed to me to become cross with it and then shouted for another nurse to come and fix it. She also seemed to have some trouble fixing it and there seemed to be a big fuss around me. I found it most disturbing and it would have been even more disturbing had I been of a more sensitive disposition. However, after all the commotion died down I was left without being introduced to anyone and without the nurse call button being left within my reach. I think I was certainly not made to feel at all comfortable particularly psychologically. During that night I needed to use the call button. I called out and the patient diagonally opposite me said I would need to call louder to make myself heard. I tried, unsuccessfully, but then the same patient used his call button. Eventually a nurse came and attended to me.

Day 2

The ward round was at approximately 09.00, the doctors asked how I felt and I said quite good considering. They didn’t look at my wounds or abdomen. A little later I noticed that my abdomen was very swollen and my testicles and penis were both very swollen and becoming more red as time went by. As I had not been warned about this I became concerned. I tried to find out from the nursing staff whether this was serious but nobody could answer. Not until the stoma nurse came round and then subsequently the Enhanced Recovery Nurse that I was told by both of them that it was a normal side effect. (I had been warned about many side effects before the operation but I don’t believe this one.)

I asked for some of the Ensure drinks and informed the assistant nurse and staff nurse that I was on the enhanced recovery programme. However, it seemed to me neither of them knew about either of them. It was not until the night staff came on that someone knew about it and I was able to obtain some Ensure. At this stage I still had the epidural, an arterial blood monitor, an abdominal drain and a catheter. I did not feel like I was encouraged to get out of bed despite the fact that the enhanced recovery programme had that as part of the programme. I did later get myself up and walked around the ward. However, on one occasion I asked for urine bag to be emptied but it did not happen until another shift came on. On another occasion I felt intimidated not to ask as I did not want to encounter what I felt was the unpleasant attitude of some of the immediate staff. This meant I had to carry the bag as there was no facility to attach it on to the mobile epidural stand. On one occasion there was more than 1.5 litres of urine in total and I realised that this weighed more than the “kettle” that I had been warned I should not lift for at least 6 weeks after the operation. The force required to prise the urine bag off the bed frame was also much more than lifting a kettle.

Later I noticed that the abdominal drain seemed to be clogged up and nothing was draining out. I also thought that either my lower wound or my catheter was leaking. (It later turned out that it was the abdominal drain that was leaking directly from the wound site onto them.) I asked the nursing staff to attend to this but no one came.

When my stoma bag was quite full my wife asked if someone could empty it. She was told by the staff nurse that I could empty it myself (I had not been tutored as to how to do this at this stage). My wife said that I had five drip leads dangling loose from my hand and that it was impossible to change the bag without contaminating the ends of them with the excrement. A little later a nurse came and in my opinion very grudgingly, roughly and painfully emptied the bag. In fact I landed up blaming my wife (I think most unfairly) for the pain caused because she had complained about my treatment.

At this stage I feel I had not been given or offered a clean hospital gown (mine was stained with the fluids from the leaking drain), help with, or an offer, as to how I could shave or wash since I came to the ward. My wife asked if that was something that a patient’s family should be doing. After a while a bowl of warm water and a towel was brought.

During the day my stoma bag was emptied for me and a small amount seeped onto my bedding and also seeped through to the bottom sheet. I was made to feel I was being difficult when I asked for it to be changed. It was eventually done after I replied to the nursing assistant’s comment that “It wasn’t much,” by asking if it was alright for me to sleep on it and under it all night.

Later the stoma nurse came and bound up my loose drip leads and helped me empty and change my stoma bag. He also cut off the bulk of the exposed part of my abdominal drain and applied a small stoma type bag over it. Later in the afternoon the drain bag was quite full and I asked if it should be emptied, I was told that it could wait. Later that evening when I lay down the bag burst open and all the contents went over me, my pyjamas and the bedclothes. One of the night staff changed them for me and gave me a clean pair of pyjamas.

In the early hours I read my notes as they had been left on my bed and saw that during the doctor’s round that morning there was an instruction in the Surgical Review section to take my drain out. I note here that it did not actually come out until Day 4 (two full days after the instruction).

Day 3

I emptied my stoma bag but was told off for emptying the contents into the WC, however, I had not been told what the correct procedure was. Later, after asking, I was given two different sets of instructions as to what I should do. One set of instructions was that I should keep it to be inspected and the other that it did not matter and I should flush it away myself.

In the morning the epidural and catheter were taken out and I was put on a morphine drip. This made me very disoriented and unable to concentrate. I was not told that I should move around to help get the bladder operating. I was eventually told this. Later in the day my blood pressure was taken and it was fluctuating considerably. Three different machines were tried and I was told that a manual one would be brought but it did not come. I think I was missed out by the pain control team on their rounds but fortunately a nurse came and realised that I should be taken off the morphine and given alternative analgesics.

I managed to maintain a reasonable frame of mind despite, but not because of, the immediate day nursing staff. In complete contrast a day staff nurse from the same floor came twice and made the beds in the morning, she had a big smile and a friendly manner and after the short periods while she made my bed I felt in considerably better spirits. Generally the night staff were very good. They mostly introduced themselves, acted with kindness and provided a good nursing service cheerfully

My general nursing treatment improved a bit after my wife aske done of the nurses to be a bit kinder to me. Both my wife and myself got the impression that both she and her helper did not want to be there.

Day 4

My abdominal drain out was, at last, taken out.

Day 5

Uneventful, different nursing staff on duty with a different and better attitude and hence better atmosphere.

Day 6

Told I would be discharged and this was conducted efficiently.

I would like to reiterate my thanks for the magnificent core treatment I received, I feel privileged to have been a recipient of it. Whilst this was the most crucial aspect of my treatment, some of the poor nursing care I received did disturb me and upset my family. It is unfortunate that we have been left with those negative memories when all the other aspects of my treatment and outcome have been so positive.


Thank you for helping my father

My father attended Sussex County out patients department mid April for investigations of anaemia. He was given an appointment for a colonoscopy for the following Saturday morning. Unfortunately he was too sick to keep this appointment and was admitted to the A&E and then transferred to the MAS Unit. Investigations showed that he had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and he died in Uckfield Hospital in May.

I wrote to the A&E and the MAS to thank them for their care of him, but I would also like to thank the out patients department for the courtesy and consideration that he received on that Wednesday afternoon. You all treated him with great respect and kindness, without patronising him. You also spoke to him correctly as a hearing aid wearer. It was a tiring appointment for this 96 year old to keep, but you all made it as comfortable for him as you could.

Thank you again.


My colonoscopy grazed my bowel, but staff were very kind

I thought the nursing staff at the Royal Hallamshire were fabulous, but the toilets weren’t very nice. There were not enough of them as there were six rooms for four toilets so there were a lot of people using them. The ward was clean but it looks like it’s getting old inside, it definitely needs doing up. I was not able to eat for four days but when I could, I thought the food was excellent.

I was so pleased that the consultant came each day to see how well I was. I was given a colonoscopy to have a check. Unfortunately it grazed my bowel accidentally; the chances of this happening are one in a thousand. I was very unlucky but they were very apologetic. I was kept comfortable for the extra days I had to stay at the hospital. I was then discharges as everything had gone well. The medicines I had to take were explained to me because there was a lot of it to take home. So I now know what to take and when as the sister explained each tablet to me.


My dad died with dignity

In September 2008 my dad, totally out of the blue, had a massive heart attack. He was rushed into Hull Royal Infirmary, and treated in Resus. Myself and step family were told that unfortunately there was nothing they could do to save dad, and although he began breathing for himself again, he was severely brain damaged due to the lack of oxygen to his brain, and it was just a matter of time. Sadly just 27 hours later my dad passed away, eight days before his 74th birthday.

During that time the staff on the ward (10, I think) were wonderful. They gave us a leaflet explaining what the last hours would be like for dad, and what we would expect to see/experience. They cleaned and shaved him, made him comfortable, made sure we knew exactly what we were allowed/was ok to do. The slightest concern we had for dad, they would come in to his side room and check on him/us. Even though they were obviously short staffed, they made sure they were there for us and when the time came they told us there wasn’t long left and to get those of us necessary around him. He never regained consciousness after the heart attack and just appeared to be asleep, snoring as usual, until he peacefully passed away with us all there holding him.

The staff at the time stayed well past their shift time and for that we were so grateful. So a thank you to the staff there at the time, you helped me personally at a very difficult time (especially as my mum had died 11 weeks previously under very different circumstances). Still a massive shock, but knowing what was going to happen, and being there supported, helped so much.


Excellent care for kidney stone problem at Doncaster

After my recent experience at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, I really felt that I had no option but to inform you about what happened to me and what my thoughts on this are.

Following an earlier admission at Bassetlaw Hospital for kidney stones and several visits to a local urologist I was finally referred to the care of Dr Ravishankar and his Urology team at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. I was very impressed during my first meeting with Dr Ravishankar. He was very professional, knowledgeable and above all caring and considerate. He gave me as much time as I wanted to ask questions and explained everything to me (something that I find is unusual for consultants!).

During my pre-op at the hospital I found his Urology Pre-Admission team to be equally impressive. Again, nothing was too much trouble. All my questions were answered and any concerns addressed. Everything was explained.

The high level of care and professionalism was continued during my stay at Doncaster RI for the removal of the kidney stones. Dr Ravishankar did an excellent job. Thank you so much!

Following my procedure I spent some time on ward M4 recovering from the pain and nausea. The ward staff could not do enough to make me feel comfortable and make my stay as pleasant as possible.

I would like to stress that they did whatever they could for my pain and nausea and did not make me feel guilty for bothering them when I asked for painkillers and anti-nausea pills. This is in stark contrast to other hospitals I have been in, where I had been fobbed off with replies like “I’m busy just now love”, “they’ll be round with the medication soon”, “shift change is in half an hour – you’ll have to wait till then” and “sorry, we’re changing over at the moment – someone will be with you later”.

And the big surprise…the food was very good!

Overall I was treated with care, respect and a high level of professionalism. I really hope that this standard is representative of all the other departments at the hospital. Please pass on my comments and gratitude.