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"Breast Surgery experience"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Breast Services Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Dept of Scheduled Admissions

(as the patient),

I under went breast surgery in November 19. Overall my experience was positive and my recovery has been short however, I am keen to share my overall experience.

I am not confident I would have been contacted by the service to confirm my surgery date with suitable notice, I believe it is only due to myself contacting the medical secretary on 5 days earlier that I found out I was being operated on the following week. The medical secretary confirmed I would receive my letter within the day, unfortunately I have yet to receive a letter confirming my surgery date. I contacted the Medical Secretary back on the 3 days before the surgery date as I had not received my letter, this staff member confirmed I was to attend DoSA. This was the first time I had heard of the DoSA unit. If I didn't contact the Medical Secretary to confirm where I was to report to on the surgery date I would have arrived at Ward 308/309.

I felt the set-up of the DoSA unit wasn't patient centred or inviting. I appreciate there is a need to save bed capacity within the hospital but I wasn't won over by what felt like an out-patient clinic waiting area. I was unaware this was a central point for patients attending various operations that day and assumed this was a unit for other breast surgery patients. It would have been beneficial to socialise with other female patients going through the same experience as myself to make the experience more comforting.

I was pushed through the DoSA waiting area, on my way to receive a scan prior to my Op whilst I was in a theatre gown. I didn't feel comfortable and felt there wasn't much to protect my dignity. I was wheeled down the main hospital corridor to Nuclear Medicine with the same discomfort and it was only when I had my dye injected at Nuclear Medicine that a nurse kindly gave me a blanket. 

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Response from Margaret Meredith, Nurse Manager, Womens Services, NHS Grampian 14 months ago
Margaret Meredith
Nurse Manager, Womens Services,
NHS Grampian
Submitted on 25/11/2019 at 09:33
Published on Care Opinion at 09:33


Hi Kat2341

Thank you for your post on Care Opinion where you shared your experience while having breast surgery earlier this month. While overall your experience was positive there are areas we can improve on.

The breast service has a short waiting list for surgery and each patient, who is discussed at the multi-disciplinary team weekly meeting on a Wednesday, who is allocated a date for surgery the following week, is generally contacted by the secretary by telephone advising them of their date for surgery, being quicker that sending a letter, to allow them to prepare for admission. In your case you received your date for surgery when you telephoned the secretary and I apologise that you did not received the letter following this as promised. You also were not notified of where to attend on the day of admission until you telephoned the secretary again. I will share your feedback with the manager for the secretarial team to look at how this system can be improved for other patients.

I am sorry that you did not feel the DoSA unit was patient centred or inviting. and that you did not feel the support you would have benefited from, from other patients undergoing the same experience was not facilitated. I apologise that you were pushed along the main corridor of the hospital from DoSA to Nuclear Medicine at the far end with no blanket to protect your dignity. I will share how that made you feel with the Senior Charge Nurse and Nurse Manger for that area.

Thank you again for your post and I am glad to hear that you are recovering well.

Kind Regards

Margaret Meredith

Nurse Manager

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