Special Care for My Special Needs Daughter

Thank you Childrens A&E at the LGI for your excellent and caring service after my daughter, who has special needs, was brought in scared and distressed after her first severe epileptic fit. Despite being extremely busy every staff member who saw us showed kindness and consideration and treated my daughter with dignity and respect. I saw this same consideration time and time again for other children and their parents during our time in the unit. Nobody wants to spend time in an A&E, but you made this experience a lot easier than it could have been.


Care and compassion shown to my father

I would just like to express my thanks for the care and compassion shown to my father on a recent trip to the QEII in Welwyn Garden City. Following a cardiac episode he was seen by he GP who referred him to the QEII. He has long standing chronic issues, as well as cancer.

He was triaged promptly and the medical and nursing staff were professional and supportive at all times during his whole stay. The young Irish nurse in the Clinical Decsion Unit was lovely and the young doctors and registrar treated my father with dignity and respect. They took time to explain what they were doing and kept us informed.

He is a colourful character and can be quite loud as he is deaf and has lost his hearing aid. Everyone took the time to listen to him and share a few words and support.

The only thing which was slightly jarring note was the radio which was on in the background until I turned if off. I was not clear who it was for and as my father is hard of hearing this made some communication difficult.

This is the third time the QEII have supported and saved my fathers life he is very thankful for thier continuing support and kindness. He hopes he won’t see them again anytime soon!

Please pass these comments to the whole team and our thanks for all the work they do to support people such as my father.

Thankful relative

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.


Very good care on ward 32 at Barnsley District General

I was a patient on ward 32 at the Barnsley District General hospital for the treatment of bowel problems.

The standard of care which I received, from both the medical and the nursing staff, was very good. At all times, I feel that I was treated with respect, kindness and care. As far as I am concerned, nothing could have been better.


Mr Ramsden – thank you, you’ve given me my life back.

I can’t begin to tell you what a difference meeting Mr Ramsden has made to me, my husband, my family and all our lives. I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but it really is the truth.

I had been living with an embarrassing gynae problem for almost 6 years when I first met Mr Ramsden (on Valentine’s day this year funnily enough!) and everything was falling apart – my insides, my confidence, my marriage and both my mental and physical health.

A couple of years ago I tried to address this problem with a referal to a consultant in Chesterfield who shall remain nameless. Not to put too fine a point on it, this man was rude and arrogant and all but told me I was imagining things. He begrudgingly offered to operate to cure my stress incontinence without even examining me. I couldn’t make him understand that the stress incontinence was really only a minor inconvenience and only part of the problem. After all what did I know? It’s only my body and his registrar had already examined me, what more did I want? I left his office in tears, booked in for an op I knew wouldn’t go half way to sorting me out and more depressed than before. A few days later I cancelled it and resigned myself to just plodding on.

After 2 more difficult years during which my husband and I were growing further apart due to my worsening depression, I was eventually persuaded to pluck up courage and start all over again.

This time I was referred to see Mr Ramsden at Rotherham District General.

I went in prepared to fight my corner, expecting to meet the same sort of arrogant attitude I had encountered in Chesterfield. How wrong could I be. I cried again when I left the appointment, but this time it was tears of sheer relief. Mr Ramsden had not only examined me, he’d listened to every word I said. And he really understood. He also reassured me I’d made the right decision regarding the Chesterfield op- I hadn’t been imagining things after all! He was down to earth and to the point and actually cared. What a difference! He told me it was going to be a bit of a long haul and pretty painful. He also made sure I understood exactly what he was going to do and why.

I had my operation on 13th May. It has been painful, just like he said, but boy has it been worth it. I went for my final check up today and was so disappointed not to see Mr Ramsden in person. I just wanted to tell him and everyone else what a transformation he has made. Up until a few years ago I was happy, busy, full of life, and dancing, acting and performing were my life. My problems affected my confidence so much that I have hardly done any theatre for years and the outgoing tigger my husband married had all but vanished. 10 weeks on, I’m in rehearsals for the 1st of 4 shows I’ll be performing in over the next 8 months, am going back to my beloved dance classes in september, my husband has his wife back and I’m really enjoying being a mum, running round playing with my kids etc.

There’s still some way to go – just like Mr Ramsden said things are still a little tender and I’ve got 2 stone to shift, put on through comfort eating over the last few years, but I have the strength to tackle it now and comfort eating is a thing of the past.

Mr Ramsden deserves more than a medal in my view. He is what the medical profession needs more of – not just a professional and incredibly skilled surgeon (though he is both of those) but human and caring and above all a person who takes the time to listen and understand.

I really can’t thank him and his team (all the nurses on B11 were great and Jill Green deserves a special mention for her kindness and reassurance) enough for what they have done for me.

I hope that in the impersonal world we live in, this heartfelt message of very personal thanks will get through to the man who made all the difference.

Yours gratefully.


Excellent care at Wansbeck General

My mother unfortunately suffered a major stroke whilst staying with us at the New Year.

Further to contacting the emergency services, the ambulance was at our property within approximately 10 minutes of the call and immediately commenced the required medical procedure.

From arriving at Wansbeck General A&E, the care that my mother received and the kindness shown to us as her family was tremendous. All staff, although very busy, kept us fully informed from the outset with regard to her condition.

She was transferred to Sunderland Royal Hospital yesterday, since this is where she would have been taken if she had been unwell whilst at home. We only hope that her excellent care continues now that she has been transferred.

Unfortunately, the only time the general public hear about hospitals and care received is via the press (and it is invariably bad press). I would like to take this opportunity to ensure that senior officers within Northumberland PCT are aware of our gratitude and appreciation to all of the staff we encountered – the Ambulance crew, A&E, M.A.U & all staff on ward 9, including the ladies who deliver the drinks & meals and those who keep the ward scrupulously clean.

They have all, without exception, continually shown professionalism within their individual roles and responsibilities; care and empathy along with excellent customer care skills, and they should be commended for this.


I am contacting you in order to …

What I liked

I am contacting you in order to congratulate you and the staff at Chesterfield Royal ,regarding the care I received as an in patient.

On finding out from my GP that I needed surgical intervention to cure my problem, I was offered a choice of hospitals and picked Chesterfield knowing very little about your reputation as a health care provider.

As you can appreciate in the current climate this can at times be a risky business with all the stories you hear about in the media.

I was referred to the consultant and on meeting him was given clear,simple information regarding my condition and time to think over the options.

After I had made my decision my admission to St Marys ward was planned and I had my operation on the 17th of April this year.

On admission I was extremely anxious,very tearful and full of fear,had it not been for the staff on the ward and the kindness shown to me from the aneathestist I don’t know what I would of done.

The staff nurse in particular who admitted me was a true ‘angel’ she gave me the one thing I needed before going down for my operation, a reassuring and very welcome hug.

The care I received post operatively was outstanding, nothing was too much for any of the staff on the ward and all my requests for assistance were met straight away and most importantly with a happy response doth day and night.

A couple of days following my operation I unfortunately felt quite unwell and due to the vigilance and expertise of the nurse who had admitted me, she immediately identified the problem, carried out investigations and arranged for a blood transfusion for me, what an absolute star !!

My stay on St Marys Ward was made as pleasurable as possible by the whole of the staff who were at all times professional,knowledgeable,caring,good humoured and extremely hard working.

In fact the list could go on as I have nothing but praise for all the staff on the ward.

To sum up the care I received from referral to discharge is impressive.

I always felt included in my treatment decisions,I was at all times made to fell like an individual ,the ward gave you the feeling of being well managed,I felt safe and secure whilst receiving care and the cleanliness on the ward was outstanding.

I have previously been an in patient in a very well known private hospital and I can honestly say that the care I received whilst at Chesterfield Royal far out shines it in all aspects !!!

I am hoping that I will not have to use hospital services now for a very long time, but would have no worries about using your services again, in fact I recommend your hospital to others at every opportunity I get.

Once again many, many thanks and congratulations !!!

Debbie S

A great deal of kindness at Doncaster Royal

I was admitted to ward 8 at Doncaster Royal Infirmary for carpal tunnel. The best thing about my treatment was that all the staff, surgeon, theatre staff and nurses all treated me very well. I was shown a great deal of kindness and respect. I cannot think of anything that could have been better.


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.