Delicate hand surgery

Mine is a good news story from a very happy user of the NHS. However, there are some lessons to be learned from my experiences.

A growth developed on my right hand as a result of the remnant of a splinter which punctured the skin between my thumb and index finger. A granuloma developed after 18 months and I was persuaded by the family to see a doctor in my Health Centre. Within days I was sent to the specialist in delicate hand surgery at the Bassetlaw hospital who sent me to Doncaster RI for a sonic scan. This revealed the remains of the splinter very clearly but I was sent back to Bassetlaw for an MRI scan. No reason was given for this decision. As a result of an administrative muddle Bassetlaw thought I was to have a second sonic scan but a second interview with the specialist sorted out this mix-up.

The MRI scan was done in Bassetlaw by a traveling team in an articulated lorry. The scan had to be done twice because the position I had to assume was so uncomfortable the movement was inevitable – I had to lie on my stomach with my hand in the air. The second attempt was successful because the operators thought to give me a foam cushion to support my hand. No explanation was given as to why the MRI scan was necessary but I guess it gave more detail to the surgeon about the disposition of nerves around the area and eliminated the existence of other growths in the body.

The operation was done in day surgery under a general anesthetic but no explanation was given for this, even though I requested one from the anesthetist. I would have preferred to have a local anesthetic and said so.

The care I received from the nursing staff was superb and the operation was entirely successful. The scar is barely discernible and I have regained feeling in all my fingers. I consider this to be a remarkable achievement and am extremely grateful.

The lesson for the NHS is that explanations of decisions taken on the patients behalf should be shared with the patient. I had complete confidence in the staff dealing with my case and would not have challenged their opinions but it would have been nice to be an active participant in the decision making process.


TV out of order since September in Clyst Ward

My Mother is currently a patient in the Acute Stroke Unit, Clyst Ward RD&E, Exeter. I have been a regular visitor and noticed a sign on the large flatscreen tv in the Ward Day room that it has been ‘out of order’ since September!

Upon further investigation I was told that the tv worked when the aerial was shared with another ward until we went ‘digital’ then the signal was lost altogether.My question is bearing in mind how important stimulation is to recovering stroke patients WHY has it not been mended in ALL this time?

The Matron has tried unsuccessfully to achieve this and I believe they have hit a brick wall. This is not rocket science, if it cannot be done ‘in-house’ then why have you not called in the appropriate outside engineer to rectify this? I imagine some of the patients are bored out of their minds without any form of stimulation, the wards do not have personal tvs or radio.

I understand some will be too ill to want tv, but it can be watched with the aid of headphones. At the very least the Ward Day room should be somewhere patients an go to find a change of scene. Your immediate attention is required,I will be following your forthcoming actions with interest.

dog with a bone

My mother’s condition is deteriorating

My mother who is 86 has slight dementia and is on medication. She was doing quite well and self caring. She recently had a bad relapse and the GP thought it could be a water infection and antibiotics were given at home. However, her condition deteriorated and she was and still is in Sunderland Royal. Since admission she has had several falls and antibiotics have ceased. We have requested a further water test on several occasions and I feel this is being delayed. She should also be receiving immodium and very plain diet as her tummy is easily upset. I have told the staff this on several occasions and I found out on my visit recently that they were unaware and had given her sausage for breakfast and didn’t realise why she couldn’t eat it. As a result, they have her in a side ward in incontinence pants and she seems to me to be loosing weight fast and has the runs. I think this is partly due to no one knowing the basics of her diet or time to take her to the loo.

She talked to me and was so concerned about the situation as a whole. I took her to the loo and put clean stuff on and she seemed so much better. Although still sometimes confused, I do not think she is as bad as some of the staff make out. In my opinion, she is not receiving the basic nursing care or nutrition she needs. As a little extra she has also now lost glasses and a bed jacket. I think she should be helped to the loo as she is unsteady on her feet, and she has never needed incontinence pads in her life. I feel this side of things is due to wrong food, not being fed the proper diet. I do not feel that I can accept any excuses for this situation as it seems to me all stem from patient care and basic nursing and nutrition knowledge. We all thought she was being cared for in the right place but I feel seriously in doubt about this now.


My consultant is patient and helpful at the diabetic Clinic

I attend the diabetic clinic at the QMC as it is an ongoing problem. The best thing about my treatment is the consultant who is knowledgeable, patient and helpful. I think the parking could be better though. I would like to thank Peter for all his help.


Day case surgery

I was admitted to the QMC as a day case patient for a D&C a little over a month ago and was absolutely astonished at the care I received, particularly given all the horror stories one hears in the press.

Everyone (from the nurses and doctors to the porters) was absolutely lovely and treated me with huge kindness, consideration and efficiency. The facilities were both clean and comfortable and I was even given my own room both before and after the operation.

I’ve had treatment privately before and could not differentiate between the care I received then and that to which I refer above.

Whilst I’ve not always had great experiences in an NHS hospital, I thought I should acknowledge the fabulous care I received this time around – we’re always quick to criticise the NHS, not so quick to commend it.


Thank you for wonderful care at QMC

I have been a patient of the Nottingham City Hospital for several years having been diagnosed with Bladder Cancer seven years ago. The treatment I received during that time from all staff concerned was fantastic and a close check was also kept on my progress over the years.

I have recently had further surgery and the care of the staff at Nottingham City across the board has once again been wonderful, from the receptionist to the theatre staff and my consultant and his caring nurse. Although this again was a very scary experience the concern for my welfare shown prior to surgery was wonderful, I am therefore very happy to once again thank the staff who looked after me during my recent stay in hospital.


I felt the staff were totally inflexible in their attitudes

My mother went in for day surgery for a hernia op a couple of years ago – I’d have written up the experience here if I’d known the site existed at the time.

The surgery itself was performed brilliantly, but I have serious concerns about the quality of care in the daycare centre where my Mum had her op.

During surgery it transpired that my Mum had been slightly misdiagnosed in the run up to treatment, so needed various different things done. Crucially, her hernia was found not to be in her lower abdomen as had been thought, but in her leg. This meant more anaesthetic went into her leg so she had difficulty standing or walking for several hours after the operation.

The nurses in the unit seemed totally unprepared for this slight change in circumstances, and I feel did not adjust their protocol accordingly. So many nurses changed shifts throughout the day that I don’t think many of them knew my mum’s status.

So despite being unable to walk and very worried, my mother was treated like any other patient as though she’d had the op as originally planned. She was told by one nurse not to get out of bed, another told her that she HAD to try and walk, and encouraged her to do so unaided, despite having no feeling in her leg. She ended up having a nasty fall (at which point she was told off by the next nurse for getting out of bed) and was lucky not to injure herself.

Worst of all, at the end of the day my Mum was made to feel like she was making a fuss for pointing out that she couldn’t walk. The staff gave her the option of being admitted overnight (which I think she should have been advised to do), but my mum felt that they made it sound as if this would be a huge imposition. I heard a few of the nurses at this point saying that they were late getting out for a colleague’s leaving do at a local pub.

Not being the sort to argue, my Mum agreed to go home – but asked if she could be taken in a wheelchair to a friend’s car. The staff refused to do this saying that she had to make her own way, and at this point it seemed to me that they might not be allowed to send someone home who needed a wheelchair – so they’d make her walk instead. I wish I’d spoken up, but I was fairly shaken by the day’s events.

Finally, a couple of friends of ours agreed to come to the hospital and help get my Mum home – I had to ask a friend who was strong enough to help carry her to the car then up the stairs to her flat.

I feel very angry about what happened, as I do not feel my mother should have been treated as a day case. Day surgery would have been appropriate if all had gone absolutely to plan, but it didn’t. I felt the staff were totally inflexible in their attitudes. I wish we’d complained while we had time!