"Burst diverticulum in Bristol"

About: Bristol Royal Infirmary / Colorectal surgery

(as the patient),

I was admitted to A&E at the BRI with a perforated bowel from a burst diverticulum. My GP had given me a laxative earlier that day when I went to see her bent over with pain, and the day before an after hours call to the GP on call resulted in phone advice to take an antacid. I dont think either was very acceptable, but these things seem to happen.

At A&E, it took too long for the initial diagnosis to be made - over 4 hours. But once they realised it was serious, it all went very fast. But the surgeons complained at the delay.

The nursing staff were absolutely wonderful. I dont think you would get nicer people looking after you anywhere else in the world. They can cheer you up an amazing lot, and that is the one thing you cant do without when seriously ill. I would say that also about the other patients, who were an amazingly courageous lot and very upbeat.

The food was OK, I dont expect amazing things from hospitals, they are not restaurants. A bit like hostel food.

The worst? The toilets - they were dirty. And it was not because of the daily use, but because they were never properly cleaned. And I dont think it would have been impossible to clean them properly - just that the contractors that I saw did not do their job.

I had to go in again a year later to remove my bowel bag and reconstruct the plumbing. Again, I remember the nursing staff with great admiration. The toilets were the same. The food was so-so. One of the student doctors was not very good at listening to patients, when my catheter was blocked and I felt that my bladder was full to bursting, she dismissed it, and finally it was a nurse who took it seriously and found that it had somhow kinked and was not flowing.

You cant buy the kind of nursing I and other patients got in the wards. My aunt was over from Denmark and she said the same of the NHS.

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