Sincere thanks to the urology ward

I’m posting this on behalf of my partner, her uncle was admitted two years ago to the urology ward after experiencing problems with his waterworks.

The staff on the ward were fantastic, really caring and the surgeon “Charlie” was often on the ward chatting to patients. The ward had a really homely feel and nothing was too much trouble. He underwent surgery twice and is now in remission with thanks to receiving treatment. The treatment was provided by Sue, who was always available on the phone if needed for reassurance.

We really do owe the Urology ward and outpatient department sincere thanks.

Often words can’t express how much we truly are thankful for.


Gynae Care At Whiston Hospital

I’ve had to attend the Gynae Clinic several times over the past year or so and have had a couple of hysteroscopies for post menopausal bleeding. The clinics run like clockwork but at the same time the receptionist, nursing staff and consultants are so pleasant, kind and considerate that it doesn’t feel like a hospital experience at all.

One thing does concern me though about my most recent attendance for a hysteroscopy under GA, and that is about medical notes or absence of them.

Firstly, I advised the consultant at my clinic appointment that I was a newly diagnosed T2 diabetic on meds, I’ve also been treated at the same hospital for angioedema and anaphylactic shock and I watched the Consultant make notes in my case notes on those occasions.

Yet when my appointment came for the hysteroscopy I was phoned the day before and was told it had to be cancelled because they’d had emergencies. I was then asked to go in the following day at 11am.

When I got there, 5-6 other patients arrived after me and we all sat in the waiting room on very uncomfy chairs. Ward Manager then advised us they were short of beds and we’d have to all stay in the waiting room and basically wait until beds became available, and that our bloods and urine specimens would be done in the waiting room. She then went away and came back with a list of the order we were to go for surgery.

I was last on the list, which meant I’d been fasting from early morning that day and by my calculations from what the Ward Manager had said, I’d be lucky if I got down to theatre by 8pm if the surgeon was prepared to work that late! And I thought I’d probably have keeled over with hunger by then. I was anxious about the GA because of my history of anaphylaxis and with the diabetes on top, I was even more anxious and to be honest the bed situation seemed absurd. So I reminded the WM that I was diabetic as I understand diabetics are usually first on the list because of fasting and blood sugar levels, and that I didn’t think I could wait the whole day in the waiting room and also reminded her about the anaphylaxis to which she replied that there was nothing in my notes about either of those conditions.

I now really wonder what the point is of consultants and patients taking the time to exchange information and to write it down, if later on, that vital information is said to be not available in the notes when they get to the ward. Surely things like proneness to anaphylaxis and diabetes should be noted on the front of the casenotes where they can’t be missed.

In fact, wouldn’t it be useful if ALL diagnoses be listed at the front of the casenotes where they can be easily scanned with the eyes, and the details could be contained within the actual case notes in date order as usual?

I began to wonder whether they actually had the right notes or not as I’d seen the Consultant make the notes as I spoke them to her. I hate making a fuss but I was very uneasy about the fact that I was going for a GA and some important medical history was not available.

Apart from that everything else was fine and the porter, anaesthetists, consultant and theatre staff were brilliant but I would like to see the case note situation improved.


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.


Helpful and reassuring consultant at Princess Royal Hospital

Came to clinic at Princess Royal Hospital in December. My appointment was with Mr Rols (Consultant). Very nice and helpful and reassuring and he confirmed I needed surgery on my left ankle, and that he would be happy to carry out the procedure. We were in the clinic for just an hour and that included X-rays. Very good.


FAI Surgery at Wrightington Hospital

Surgery for FAI (and a labral tear).

I was very impressed with the care provided, however I did feel that there was just not enough nursing staff on the wards to allow them to do their jobs properly. They never stopped, absolutely flat out all the time, but I was still left on occasion wanting assistance (not urgent, admittedly) they were not able to provide.

As an example the bed I was in when I was taken back to the ward (4/6, it was during the closure) appeared to have no control for me to adjust – staff having to do it from the bed end control. The NEXT DAY a nursing assistant pointed out the control was there, but had not been hooked to the bedside. No-ones fault really they just don’t have time to look for things.

As an Isle of Man patient, I was discharged the next day – this was a nightmare for me, I don’t think any consideration was given to the fact I would have to get into an aircraft seat, despite being told I only had 60 degrees flexion. I was in tears by the time I got to the Island, with pain. Not good enough, I needed to have recovered more before such a journey, blocked beds or not! Yes, I was an NHS manager in the past….. I know the pressures. Patients should not be subjected to that discomfort.

Also at some point, no communication had occurred with OT on the Island, they were not aware of me. I’m not sure if this is a ‘here or there’ issue, but the OT who eventually attended said their assessment would normally be part of pre-op, as this was done at Wrightington perhaps the failure is ‘there’?

To end on a positive; cleanliness was exemplary, as were all staff in terms of courtesy and helpfulness, but the Doctors were in such a rush I did feel a little under-informed at times, although I agree some of this would have been due to post anaesthesia daze. Theatre staff too were excellent, in a situation that is massively stressful to the patient, they were superb.

In all a positive experience, with some gaps. I would have no hesitation in recommending Wrightington.

A Manxman

Listen to me, Respect me, Assess me properly

I have had serious pain and had difficulty walking for over four years.

My first attempt to get help from the GP resulted in them telling me, “You are getting old it comes with age.” The doctor considered that it was depression and prescribed antidepressants. He did not ask my history and I feel did not seem interested in my problems. I did not think I was depressed but did take the medicine. It didn’t improve anything and my pain was still there.

I deteriorated and the pain was worsening. I felt like the doctor looked more earnestly at the screen and rarely at me. He seemed always in a hurry and I felt had no time to listen. I continued for a long time trying to be stoical about the pain. I heard about a sympathetic doctor at our surgery. I made an appointment to see him.

Eventually this doctor listened and sent me for a scan. I had damage to my spine. I had surgery which was successful. The people at the hospital were wonderful. Following this there was a period of two weeks when I had a holiday in Wales and was able to walk three or four days along the gentler parts of the coastal path.

Later I had Physiotherapy and the pain from the exercises was unbearable. I felt like no one listened to me and I was brushed off. My physiotherapist discharged me.

I saw another GP who re-referred me back to the neuron-surgeon.

It was decided to do further surgery on my back. I waited and had a date for surgery. I had two pre op appointments I attended both and then five different admission dates all being cancelled.

To get ready for surgery packing toiletries and pyjamas and getting ready in your mind to only be told it was off, repeatedly was shattering for me.

Eventually we saw the surgeon who was unhappy with the plan for surgery and sent me for another x-ray. This resulted in the very clear evidence that I had severe osteoarthritis the head of the hip bone which had no definition.

Why was there not a proper assessment initially? I feel that if my doctor had time and patience to listen to me instead of rushing and not speaking to me but talking to the screen, then there may have been a different outcome. I am now waiting to see another surgeon to deal with my hip. I understand that my GP surgery met all its targets and is considered first class, but not to me as I think targets have come before people.


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.


Poor preparation with patients at Manor Hospital Maternity department

I am due to go for an elective surgery on monday and am still unsure what will happen and what I need to do despite already having my pre op. On at least 6 occassions I have asked all my questions, to midwifes, the consultanat and the lady doing the pre op to be told that I need to discuss everything on ward on Monday morning! I feel this is terrible.

This will be my third section so my questions are specific detailed ones, I have never had a section in the UK. To say that I was more comfortable in a hospital where I spoke little of the language is not a good sign!

I feel my care has been diabolical so far with computers not working, some midwifes not understanding the notes, every time I see a different student so at each appointment have been told to ask my questions to the pre op nurse. Get to the pre op and they can’t help me, tells me that everyone has gone home because its Friday!

The last thing I should be doing before entering the op room on Monday is trying to sort out with the paedeatrician all the injections my newborn needs in it’s first 24 hours, discussing the fact that I have had bad reactions to epidurals/ga and how I am meant to feed my child if like the other 2 times my milk never comes through.

I think this is shocking and I’m not looking forward to Monday morning!