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"Absolutely superb work"

About: Cancer Services / Radiotherapy Ear, Nose & Throat / Ward 26 General Surgery / General Surgery (Ward 7 & 8) General Surgery / Theatre Recovery Ninewells Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I had tongue cancer and excessive radiotherapy in 2012.

In 2023 I had extensive problems with eating ,swallowing and speech in my mouth and throat as a result of the radiotherapy in 2012.

The ENT team reviewed me consistently and I was supported by the Speech and Language therapy team ( SALT), this involved fitting a PEG for my food intake , Julie was amazing.

In late 2023 Mr Manick of ENT found I had a cancer tumour near my larynx.

In December I was admitted to Ninewells via A and E due to a serious problem with my breathing. I was fitted with a stoma immediately that day by the ENT team, and admitted to ward 26.

Mr Manick discussed all the options and extreme difficulties with the cancer in great detail which was absolutely excellent.

The operation as described was extremely difficult, of very high risk and required that a plastic surgeon was involved throughout it.

The operation would take in excess of 10 hours.

This was extremely difficult to set up but was driven by the fantastic ENT team.

The major operation involved carrying out a total Laryngectomy, removing the cancer tumour, and rebuilding major areas of the throat and gullet.

The plastic surgeon for the operation was Mr Munnoch, who I met for the first time and he explained it in full detail prior to the operation - he was also excellent and very clear.

From my perspective I had to assess the positive and negatives , a difficult issue for many patients.

The cancer would have been terminal and life expectancy potentially not very long.

I had full confidence in Mr Manick and Mr Munnuch.

The positives, whilst I would have to adapt some mechanism for speech, my breathing was fully assured, and if the operation all went successfully, I would have the ability to potentially swallow and taste some food, a major life style change from the previous months in 2023. And hopefully a longer life period.

The support from the team in ward 26 for the five weeks prior to my operation was amazing. The quality of the Doctors and nursing staff , their professionalism , focus and commitment was truly exceptional, always there for me to resolve any issues I might have. ( Too many to mention by name.)

Since the operation this year I have done nothing but improve, my breathing is great, the healing of the major scars and swelling is going very well, for which the teams should be proud, a superb job by the two operating teams.

Their support post operation has again been second to none, always there for me.

The first week in the surgical recovery unit, again was very good, personal attention from the nursing team and great focus on getting my body back to some level of normality after such a major operation. Something that may be difficult for some patients.

The follow up was in the ENT ward 26, the team just picked up from where they left off prior to my operation - excellent, the support from the nursing specialists, Elaine and Allison again superb.

After two weeks, in line with the team's protocol I received a CT swallow scan followed by a few days of attempting to swallow soft food and drinks, all has gone very well, albeit a real challenge for any patient.

This again confirms the absolutely superb work carried out by Mr Manick , Mr Munnoch and their teams.

I appreciate that for all the muscles, nerves etc to heal from this major operation it is a long ongoing process, I can only wish for and be confident in continued health improvement.

In Summary

The NHS continually gets criticised

For past cancer patients with similar conditions to myself, which has been growing as a day to day problem , it was essential that I had the confidence of the teams that I was being observed by.

That was absolutely the case with the Ninewells ENT team and ward 26.

I experienced friendly , professional and extremely knowledgeable staff.

I believe that because of the seriousness and complexity of my required operation , and for other patients , it is essential that the ENT team have much greater and easier access to the tools and facilities to make it happen.

This is down to Ninewells management , and an improvement in the business and operational processes.

Finally I would just again like to thank Mr Manick , Mr Munnoch , ward 26 and their superb teams for all my support, an absolute credit to our NHS Tayside.

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Response from Tracey Williams, Care Group Manager Specialist Surgery (Breast , Ophthalmology , Plastics), Specialist Surgery, NHS Tayside 2 months ago
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Tracey Williams
Care Group Manager Specialist Surgery (Breast , Ophthalmology , Plastics), Specialist Surgery,
NHS Tayside
Submitted on 06/03/2024 at 14:09
Published on Care Opinion at 14:40

Dear optimistcP70

thank you so much for you feedback and I have passed onto the team the wonderful feedback you have given. The confidence you have described in the clinical team is good to hear. It is also good to hear that since your operation you are continuing to improve each day. the issue you raised regarding access to the tools and facilities to conduct such serious operations such as your are being pursued to develop an established access and process for allocating and accessing the facilities required and is being taken forward with higher management

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