"My first experience of surgery"

About: Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust - City Campus / General surgery

(as the patient),

I had a hernia repair procedure at Nottingham City Hospital. I am a 65 years old male and this was my first experience of surgery, so I was understandably a little anxious. My husband and I arrived at the Unit at 07: 30 in the morning, as requested, and were greeted in a friendly but professional manner by the admin staff and were given the news that the surgeon due to carry out my procedure had been called away to carry out an emergency operation; he would be at the Unit as soon as possible and was adamant that the scheduled procedures would be carried out that day. I actually wasn't upset by this news - I had been warned in advance by staff to be prepared to spend the whole day at the Unit, and I thought it was not improbable that the surgeon was working to save somebody's life.

The morning was spent with a great number of interviews with various clinicians who questioned me, measured me, weighed me, tested my blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and fitted me out with a very fetching hospital gown. The overall effect of this barrage of interviews could have been irritating and tiring - but everyone I saw was at pains to make me as comfortable as possible and to help me to understand what was happening and what was going to happen, so that I actually felt reassured and well informed. All of the staff at the Unit were friendly and understanding - the admin staff made my husband cups of coffee and even offered to share their lunch with him - and I was made as comfortable as possible during my wait. When the surgeon arrived he took time to talk to me himself and to explain the procedure and the possible after effects. Throughout the day I was involved and given reassurance and advice about things that I hadn't really considered. I was treated as a person and not a patient to be processed. My preparation for surgery was carried out in a way that helped me to stay relaxed and anxiety free - the warm blanket was a wonderful surprise - and once in the actual theatre I was fussed over by a team of people who made me feel I was the most important person in the world, and I drifted under the anaesthetic feeling wonderfully calm. I woke some time later to tea and hot toast and more pampering.

I work in a Local Authority and I know how devastating austerity cuts have been in the NHS, but despite this I received a 100% platinum service from all the staff at the Unit and I would like to send a huge thank you for their patience, professionalism, commitment to care, sense of humour and sheer bloody hard work. Everyone of you is a hero to me - you made what could have been a time of terrible anxiety into a stress free experience. Thank You All. 


PS Just 5 days later and the pain is almost gone!  

Responses

Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this and share your experience of coming to our hospital for surgery for the first time. I am pleased to hear that your experience was a positive one, and that you found all the staff you encountered helpful and caring. I have shared your kind words with my surgical colleagues, we all appreciate them. I am glad to hear you are recovering well, and wish you all the best.

Kind regards

Simon Parsons, Divisional Director for Surgery

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