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"Appendicectomy - A variable journey of care"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Accident & Emergency Crosshouse Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

Working within the health service I Always expect to treat people how would like to be treated myself. My journey was variable.

Working through the night, sudden onset of pain to the abdomen, finished my run of shifts decided to attend the GP. Directed to the local ED, swiftly taken to the acute receiving surgical ward where the staff were attentive clear and attended to the pain I was in. Surgery was completed to the delight of the surgeons whom had decided they had made the correct diagnosis as they stated I was one of the few who was not text-book as they called it.   The staff were fantastic in the ward. Despite the pain and having surgery I still had a smile.

I was advised I was to be moved from 4A to 4B. The first encounter was an auxiliary whom I said hello to. They asked if I had an evening meal, I said it would be on 4A's trolley would they mind retrieving it. The auxiliary said I wasn't in 4A, now that I was in 4B that's is all there is take or leave it. I don't eat red meat which was thrown on to the bedside trolley. I declined and did not have anything to eat the rest of the evening.

The shift changed, the night nurse arrived instead of introducing themselves the first statement was, 'where do you work' they then asked what pain relief I would like, when I stated two tablets they questioned it, saying I didn't look like I was in pain, and gave me them reluctantly.

That evening and through the night the staff were loud,   repeatedly introduced themselves by asking where I worked in the NHS and not asking my name or telling me theirs. I felt vulnerable, in pain after full abdominal surgery, I don't like a fuss, I had no appetite, I was stressed, there was a negative atmosphere, I felt like an inconvenience,   I declined to ask for anything and used my phone to ask colleagues where I worked to bring me items to drink and eat, which was upsetting the staff on the ward as I had colleague visitors out with visiting times with permission,   as well as family at the normal visiting hours.

Overnight I had the curtains pulled around the bed, in the morning as I was getting changed,   a member of staff  pulled the curtains open, I said would you mind. The staff member said the nurse wants to see everyone from outside the room, I replied I am getting changed and if they wan to see me they can come to the bedside. This was not well received and was the first time I felt strong enough to reply defending my own rights to privacy.  

I was preparing to leave, to sign myself out due the poor level of care.   I would have left and gone home through the night, but with no car or house keys this proved to be difficult. This was also due to the staff putting the large room lights on, and on more than one occasion, talking about what they had to eat, their next holiday etc loudly with no thought for the care or attention for the patients within the room or even the time of night, where patients are meant to rest.

I had asked the staff prior to leaving if I could use the phone to contact the porters to try and obtain jump leads for my car as it wasn't starting, this became a drama for the staff, I returned to the bedside contacted my husband and the porters from my own phone where the chaps were fantastic in assisting with a set of leads to assist my car to start.

I left the ward with a bitter taste of the poor experience received, I hope I do not have to use the services in the future as this may make a very difficult decision for both myself and the staff involved. Attitude,   behaviour and a poor culture make a difference to a patient their experience, the speed of recovery and how they relate their health and wellbeing to their current treatment.  


Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran nearly 2 years ago
Eunice Goodwin
Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team,
NHS Ayrshire and Arran

I respond initially to most of the posts and ensure they are passed to the appropriate team whether they are compliments, observations or grumbles. It is important to make sure all issues are addressed and I try to encourage that to happen for all the posts as required.

Submitted on 27/11/2019 at 19:42
Published on Care Opinion at 19:42

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Hermoine,

This is such a disappointment to read. As staff, we are well aware of the organisations values; safe caring and respectful. You have raised several, points that are simply unacceptable. We do not expect special treatment, but we do expect to be cared for in a safe caring and respectful manner, as everyone in NHS Ayrshire and Arran should. Your experience falls far short of this and I am deeply sorry.

It is sad that some basic customer care was not demonstrate. Food, rest and a feeling of well-being contributes to healing and I find it poor and uncaring that there was no help for you to get food that was acceptable to you. I can only assume you saved a new patient from a poor tea?.

I have been a clinician for most of my working life and I have heard patients say many time, “when you come in to hospital you have to leave your dignity (or modesty) at the door”. I strongly disagree with this. Being in hospital, we feel vulnerable at the outset so we should make every effort to prevent people feeling even more vulnerable than they already do.

If you would like to have a chat with me or anyone else, about any aspect of your care, my number is 01563 826222 and my email address is I am currently responsible for patient stories and if you would be interested to discuss the options to record your story and how this experience impacted on you, I would be happy to talk to you about this too.

I will pass your post to the teams in 4A, 4B and the senior management. I am sure this will be shared widely with the staff and the points you have raised reflected upon.

Thank you so much for taking time to shar this with us.

I hope you are recovering from your operation and your experience,

Best wishes,


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